As we continue to look at some of the best equipment in the game, we wanted dive into the 2019 models.
Today, we’re going to do a Marucci CAT8 review.
We’ll look at the CAT8, the CAT8 Connect, and the CAT Composite bats.
Each one has its own distinct advantages.
One key piece of information we want to be sure every reader knows before getting into the article is that there is no USA Bat model of the CAT8.
Marucci skipped the USA standard version and, to the best of our knowledge, doesn’t have any intention of adding a USA approved model.
What Makes The CAT8 Series?
As you look through the research and read through Marucci’s 2019 bat line up reviews, you’ll find that they have had made some significant strides.
They’ve improved the wall of their barrels and they continue to improve the alloy used to strengthen the barrel.
They’ve also done a great job of continuing to develop an anti-vibration knob.
The CAT8 (base model and Connect model) series has the strongest aluminum to date.
They use what is called AZ105 alloy. The strength of this material allows for the walls to be thinner than previous bats. It also increases the durability.
Using such strong aluminum also allows for a multi-variable wall design. That is to say, the thickness of the wall changes throughout the bats.
This allows for a decreased swing weight without losing any durability. You can find this in the base model and the Connect model.
This multi-variable wall allows for a smaller end cap which lengthens the performance area.
That doesn’t sound like much, but that means that when a ball is hit off the end of the barrel, this bat is going to be able to provide some power rather than providing a simple ground ball on the infield.
The next key focus that Marucci had was minimizing the vibration that a batter has to deal with on a mishit ball.
The CAT8 features a typical anti-vibration knob. However, they’ve further customized the barrel for the Connect and the Composite with what they call SDX EXT. This is a vibration isolating silicone overlay that covers the handle.
The Silicone overlay is able to minimize how much vibration actually reaches the hands.
Marucci returns with the ring-free barrel design in each model.
This simply means that they’ve been able to smooth out the inside of the bat and decrease disruptions to the sweet spot.
The ring-free barrel creates a smoother more consistent bat from the handle out to the barrel.
Something else that has always impressed me with Marucci is that they only produce a new bat every two years.
They’re known for saying:
We believe a new bat should be a new bat, not last year’s model with this year’s paint job.
It’s something that they seem to truly believe.
They make a bat every 2 years, because they take the time to get feedback from players before trying to improve the bat.
Companies who produce a bat every year have to start next year’s bat before this year’s model gets sufficient feedback.
Instead, Marucci builds a bat, waits a year to get sufficient feedback from players, then makes a bat with that feedback in mind. This creates a two year process.
Is The CAT8 Different From The CAT7?
For in-depth analysis you should check the CAT8 vs. CAT7 comparison on Marucci’s website.
But, in short, the CAT8 is a stronger bat.
Every model gets an upgrade and the AZ105 is this year’s best option.
All of the 2017 bats Marucci made came with an alloy known as AX4X.
Innovation continues to make stronger, more durable aluminum, and this year isn’t any different.
The new models also have larger barrels than the older models.
The -5 and -8 versions of the CAT7 had a 2 5/8” barrel. The CAT8 equivalents have a 2 3/4” barrel.
It seems like a small improvement, but it could be the difference between a pop up and a double to the gap.
The SDX connection is the biggest improvement that you’ll find.
The SDX EXT is a bit stiffer which allows for a higher energy transfer. This happens because there is less of a lag.
The EXT also has a three-part system as compared to a one-part system on the CAT7.
For a more detailed comparison check our Marucci CAT7 review.
The Models: A Full Marucci CAT8 Review
What’s The Verdict?
A quick search will show you that Marucci bats are consistently some of the best baseball bats on the market.
The CAT8 continues that tradition. With three different models, they offer a bat for every type of player.
I would absolutely recommend purchasing any of these bats.
When trying to decide which model you want to buy, I would consider two things:
- the price point
- and the player you’re buying the bat for
I know, those seem like common sense.
But, the only reason I would even consider buying the base model is if I buying the bat for someone that can’t handle an end-loaded bat.
Other than that, I would probably go with the Composite option.
The base model in BBCOR is around $300.
If I’m willing to spend that much, I might as well upgrade.
The Connect BBCOR is around $350 which is the same price as all of the composite models (aside from the junior big barrel).
If I’m paying the same price either way, I want the best trampoline effect I can find.
That means I’m going to buy the Composite model.
As always, we appreciate you reading through our 2019 CAT8 reviews.
If you have any experience with them, please let us know what you think.
As the season continues, don’t forget to drop in with any reviews you may have.
There’s never an off-season for learning about the best equipment in the game.