Aluminum alloy baseball bats are highly regarded for their durability and little to no break-in time, but they can be very stingy and tough on your arms.
Meet Marucci CAT8 – an aluminum alloy baseball bat engineered to address the downsides of standard alloy bats. If you want to obtain some of the benefits of composite bats while retaining alloy bats’ advantages, CAT8 may be for you.
In my Marucci CAT8 baseball bat review, I’m going to introduce you to the bat’s advantages and help you set expectations for it.
Marucci CAT8 In-Depth Features
- AZ105 alloy, the strongest aluminum on the Marucci...
- Multi-variable wall design creates an expanded...
- 2nd Generation AV2 Anti-Vibration knob features...
- Ring-free barrel construction allows for more...
- One-piece alloy construction provides a clean,...
To get started, let’s have a look at the key features that make CAT8 an excellent choice for someone who hates standard aluminum bats but doesn’t wish to switch to a composite baseball bat.
Aluminum alloy construction
At the heart of the Marucci CAT8 baseball bat lies the AZ105 aluminum alloy. Marucci advertises that AZ105 is the strongest aluminum in the Marucci bat line. Aluminum alloy bats are generally very durable on their own, so you could expect CAT8 to be way tougher than the average alloy bat.
The strength of the AZ105 aluminum enabled Marucci to make the barrel walls thinner and thus more forgiving after off-center hits. Aluminum alloy bats are pretty notorious for their violent sting after mishits, but CAT8 should be able to break this pattern.
CAT8 may not be as soft-feeling as composite baseball bats, but it most likely will be a massive upgrade for owners of lower-end alloy bats.
Like other aluminum bats, CAT8 doesn’t require breaking in after purchase – it’s ready to go out of the box. Although I appreciate the more dampened feel of composite bats, I absolutely hate the need to take 150 to 200 hits to break them in. CAT8 is much friendlier in this regard.
Expanded sweet spot
The second important feature of Marucci CAT8 is its expanded sweet spot.
If you didn’t know, alloy bats generally have much smaller sweet spots than composite bats and require a more accurate hand.
Marucci has set out to make CAT8 more forgiving by employing a multi-variable wall design. Again, I don’t think that the sweet spot in CAT8 will be as huge as in the average composite bat, but it’s larger than in most “standard” aluminum alloy bats.
So if you like the feel of aluminum bats but want a larger sweet spot, certainly consider CAT8 as an upgrade.
Marucci CAT8 boasts a one-piece design – a delight for players who want to maximize energy transfer and power.
As a reminder, one-piece bats are great at transferring energy because they have little flex. On one hand, this means that the baseball bat’s vibration is higher upon impact, unfortunately. But on the other, there is little energy loss and thus higher power.
To somewhat reduce vibrations, CAT8 features the multi-piece AV2 knob with shock-dampening elements. The ring-free barrel design increases flex as well, further dampening the impact. All this without sacrificing much power!
A two-piece baseball bat would be much better at dampening vibrations, but the power level wouldn’t be there. Such bats like CAT8 are the closest you can get to a two-piece bat’s feel without losing too much power.
Good balance between speed and power
Finally, Marucci CAT8 features a balanced weight distribution, which is useful if you prefer a good combo of speed and power. CAT8 also has low M.O.I. (moment of inertia), which should translate to an increased swing speed and better control.
On top of that, CAT8 boasts an ergonomic handle covered with a micro-perforated 1.75mm grip with extra tack to help you achieve better control.
What’s The Difference Between CAT8 And CAT7?
CAT7 costs considerably less than CAT8, so you may be wondering how the two Marucci baseball bats differ. Well, here’s how:
- CAT8 is constructed with a stronger aluminum alloy and will thus serve you longer.
- Thanks to the stronger aluminum, CAT8 has thinner walls and therefore is more forgiving.
- CAT8’s multi-variable barrel thickness creates a larger sweet spot.
- USSSA CAT8 bats have a larger 2-¾-inch barrel diameter, while CAT7 USSSA bat barrels are at 2-⅝ inches.
The Marucci CAT8 isn’t necessarily what you need, but it’s clearly a better baseball bat than the CAT7 and is worth the money for the right athlete.
What Versions Is Marucci CAT8 Available In?
The Marucci CAT8 baseball bat is available in BBCOR and USSSA versions. These bats feel somewhat differently, but your choice should be based on what’s required in your league.
All BBCOR CAT8 bats have a drop of -3 (required by the BBCOR) and are thus relatively heavy and powerful. As for USSSA CAT8 bats, they are available with drops from -5 to -10.
When it comes to length, the BBCOR CAT8 bat can be from 30 to 34 inches long. USSSA bats go from 27 to 31 inches, and there also is a junior USSSA version with lengths from 25 to 27 inches.
Choose length based on your height and arm length. As for weight, go for whatever is more comfortable for you.
Marucci CAT8 Pros & Cons
- Requires no breaking-in.
- One-piece design for excellent power transfer.
- Extremely durable.
- Enlarged sweet spot.
- Vibration-reducing knob design.
- Feels fairly stingy on mishits despite the advanced tech used by Marucci.
Marucci CAT8 Technical Specs
- Certification – BBCOR or USSSA.
- Construction – One-piece.
- Material – Aluminum alloy.
- Barrel diameter – 2-⅝ inches in the BBCOR bat, 2-¾ inches in the USSSA bat.
- Drop – from – 5 to – 10 for USSSA bats, -3 for the BBCOR bat.
Marucci CAT8 Review - Final Words
Marucci CAT8 offers all the advantages of aluminum alloy baseball bats – more importantly, excellent durability and no break-in time – while boasting reduced vibration and an enlarged sweet spot. CAT8 should be more forgiving than the average baseball bat.
If you are specifically looking for a softer-feeling bat, then a composite baseball bat would likely be a better choice. However, if you highly value aluminum bats’ pros, you will struggle to find something better than CAT8.
So what do you think? Would Marucci CAT8 be a good choice for you?