Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rating The Bats

1. DeMarini Voodoo $289
1. Dermarini CF-3 $379

For a company that specialized in men's slowpitch softball for years, this company rocketed to the top of the charts. We rank them in a virtual tie for first because how can you ignore a bat company that turned a HAT TRICK in collegiate sports? The NCAA Division I, II, and III national champs all used the DeMarini Voodoo. In terms of performance, feel, distance, graphics and price, the DeMarini Voodoo, provides value and that alone makes it stand above the rest. DeMarini says that they have the most powerful and durable performance alloy on the market, SC3, exclusive to DeMarini, provides the Voodoo with the 'pop' to go deep. An Ion End-Cap and Carbon Reinforced Composite handle complete the system for the Voodoo. Demarini's new composite, the CF-3 is nothing short of an amazing bat...It looks, feels and sounds powerful. We had a few players try this out in a test and they really liked the balance and feel of this one so much, they called it the "Magic Stick".

1. (tie)2008 LOUISVILLE EXOGRID (CB82X)Price$359.99
In terms of feel, sound, durability and distance, our research shows that despite the high price, the EXO is tied for the top spot among our reviewers. Players like the handle stiffness over the competitions flex technology. When you make contact with an EXO, it just sounds better. In terms of graphics, it has too many colors for our taste, but the players seem to like that, and that's all that counts. Good return policy as well. If you send overnight, they will return your replacement in less than a week. Also, look out for their 2008 EXO Air model...exclusive at Baseball Express. It's a bit more pricey at $399, but we like the features.

2. Easton 08 Stealth Composite $379
This bat is a very close second as it combines the ConneXion technology with Eastons Carbon Nanotube technology and patented IMX(TM) - Integrated Matrix technology strengthens composite structures, optimizing designs and materials for maximum performance. As opposed to the like it or hate it flex handle ConneXion, this handle is stiffer and when a player makes contact it doesn't give that dull, cracked bat sound that most older ConneXion models had. That gives a player a bit more of a psychological edge at the plate.

3. Easton 2008 Stealth Stiff $289
For those who just like the sound and feel of a regular metal bat, the Stealth Stiff is the one for you. Simple graphics and superior wall technology makes this a great value.

4. Rawlings 2007 Rush Composite $349
The leader in baseballs and gloves has been making a big push into the premium bat market with success. They are more agressive in sponsoring colleges and travel teams than in years past and their product has earned it a mention in many publications rating services. The thing we liked about the Rawlings composite is the barrel technology that is 13%-21% bigger than competitors. Bigger barrel means bigger sweet spot. We are not sure that players should be rewarded an extra 20% barrel space...and we can name a few pitchers that would back us up, but the bat does feel and sound pretty good. The bigger barrel, cheaper price and composite technology is what makes us rank this bat as a great value.

5. Rawlings 2007 Rush Gold $299
We always thought that this bat would have sounded better if it was named the Gold Rush, not the Rush Gold. But what do we know? Tough barrel with 15% more Liquidmetal in the barrel makes it twice as strong as Titanium. The balance point is maximized with the combination of the Liquidmetal and composite handle. What's that mean? Our players love the balance and stiffness of this "flex" bat. Parents prefer the price. Rawlings has this thing called the "Low Rider" speed plug. Dumb name, but pretty interesting concept. It's just a tougher end plug that can withstand direct impacts up to 105 Mph, that reduces damage from hits of the end of the bat.

6. Miken 2007 Burn ESD $349
We were really skeptical about this bat, but are impressed by the performance. This bat is going to have to be a a personal choice for your son. Go to a batting facility that sells bats and ask them for a demo. Our players liked it and would even consider using it, but it's a psychological barrier to use a bat that hasn't proved itself and the price doesn't make it any easier. But, it does sound and feel good and has great balance.


1. XBat Pro Maple 73 Wood Baseball Bat $139
The best in the business and the choice for major leaguers. The most popular new style in the Big Leagues is X-Bat's maple bat Model 73. The very large knob serves as a counter weight making the bat feel very light and balanced. He will need a wood for summer ball and we think it's a good idea to use wood for batting and cage practice. This is the cream of the crop in wood bats!

2. XBat Pro Maple Black 24 Wood Baseball Bat $119
Hard Maple! X-Bat takes MLB by storm with their tough maple Model 24 bat. The hardest maple available is used to insure top performance. A bit cheaper and still above and beyond what other wood bats offer.

3. SamBat Hardwood Maple Wood Baseball Bat $119
The bat that changed professional baseball forever! The choice of more than 100 top MLB players was developed by Sam Holman using his proprietary lathe technology. Chosen from only the top 5% of Prime Hard Maple, unlike other maple bats available, the ZERO pressure process maintains the strength Hard Maple has in its natural state, while traditional processes fatigue the wood.

4. D-Bat 2 Tone Black/Flame Maple Wood Baseball Bat $74.99
Unique Bell Knob! This maple bat was designed with a LONG BARREL that is shaved enough to make it easy to swing for High School and College players. The longer hitting area provides a greater contact performance when missing the "sweet spot". Better value for practice and the cages.

5. Mattingly V-Grip Heavy Wood Soft Toss Bat $69.99
Strictly for practice, but with good balance and weight transfer. If you want wood for strictly practice purposes, two of these for the price of one XBat, makes this a great value. Plus, let's give Don Mattingly some props...That guy had one of the best swings in the game!!! Buy this bat for Don.

There were other metals and composites like the Nike and the Combat Virus that were pretty decent, but for the price and popularity, we think the choices we made were pretty fair...

RT Staff

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