There isn’t a more POPular bat in baseball than the Marucci CAT. True to its’ design and technology, CAT models have dominated the sport for over a decade. You may have forgotten how the second-edition CAT 5s single-handedly raised players’ expectations of BBCOR. Fast forward ten years, and the CAT9s still stand atop the mountain as the hottest baseball bats in the game. However, the question is often posed to us… What is the best Marucci CAT of all time?
Timeline of the Marucci CATs
- 2009 - The CAT5 (BESR) was released. This was Marucci’s first one-piece alloy bat.
- 2011 - BBCOR went into effect across all high school & college baseball.
- 2011 - Marucci re-released the CAT5 to meet BBCOR regulations.
- 2014 - The CAT6 was released with new AZ3000 alloy.
- 2016 - Marucci doubled the sweet spot of their barrel with the launch of the CAT7.
- 2018 - The first CAT Composite was released along with the CAT8 & CAT8 Connect.
- 2020 - CAT9s hit the market featuring a new Longitudinal Groove System™.
- 2021 - CAT9 Pastime bat lineup launches this summer.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the history of the CAT bats, be sure to check out the Evolution of the CAT Baseball Bat.
It’s important to note that Marucci has continued to build off their past technological successes to create their newer releases. The CAT7 doubled the size of the barrel’s sweet spot. Since then, the innovation team has prioritized maintaining the massive sweet spot in all proceeding releases. Therefore, the CAT8s & 9s offer new advancements over the 7s while still providing the same hard-to-miss sweet spot first introduced in 2016.
As touched on above, the CAT6 was released to the public back in 2014. The buzz was palpable surrounding the launch, but the bat was still tasked with winning over the skeptics. Many felt like Marucci wouldn’t be able to match the performance of the previous CAT5 models, let alone exceed it… But you can’t tell a CAT what it can’t do.
Led by a brand-new, explosive alloy barrel, the CAT6 proved that Marucci wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. The balanced swing and optimized barrel thickness quickly became a fan favorite, and CAT6s began flying off the racks. To this day, players and coaches will still ask around to see if anyone is selling the CAT6. While there are newer models available, the 6 remains a preference to some of the game’s best players.
The team over at JustBats has created a vlog series of bats. If you’re interested, be sure to check out the JustBats channel on Youtube. The following is one of their bat reviews of the CAT7.
As Tyler and Logan touched on, the barrel of the Marucci CAT7 is hot out of the wrapper, meaning that no break-in period is necessary before you use it in a game. But the most significant allure to the CAT7 was and has always been the massive sweet spot. Composite bats lost a bit of their advantage over alloy bats because of this particular bat. No longer did players feel like they were forced to swing composite to maximize their hard-hit rate. At the release of the CAT7, players were given more options, and other brands were forced to adapt their aluminum alloy bats if they wanted to keep up. Yet another way that the CAT redefined baseball bats in the 2010s.
Using an even stronger AZ105 alloy material, the Marucci CAT8 became even more advanced than the previous three releases. Headlined by higher performance off the sweet spot and thinner barrel walls around the end cap and the taper, the CAT8 elevated the standard. Enjoy the full video breakdown of the CAT8 by the crew from JustBats.
One of the exciting features built into the CAT8 was the AV2 anti-vibration knob. The second generation of the anti-vibration knob was first introduced on the CAT7s to dismiss the negative feedback commonly associated with one-piece alloy bats. This means that the two biggest thorns in alloy hitters’ sides (sweet spot & vibrations) had been alleviated by Marucci.
To this day, the CAT8 is considered one of the most consistently high-performing baseball bats ever made. Many players prefer the more powerful, power-loaded barrel swing weight of the CAT8s than the previously balanced options. Hitters can get more mass behind their swings without sacrificing barrel control through the zone.
The CAT8, CAT8 Connect, and CAT8 Composite bats are still widely available today.
After finding another alloy stronger than the last, Marucci’s CAT9 was the most anticipated bat release in years. The AZR alloy made player-friendly barrel innovation a priority. Improvements have been seen in feel, forgiveness on contact, and overall batted ball performance. JustBats provides their full bat review of the CAT9 in the following video.
It’s hot, hot, hot! The CAT9 is a fantastic bat. Launched back in 2020, the CAT9 has built on the past decade of Marucci’s accomplishments to power them well into the next decade of high-performance baseball bats.
Looking at the CAT9 Connect, one interesting new addition to the line is the Outer Locking System that combines the composite handle to the alloy barrel (from the outside in!) The OLS creates a stiffer feel through contact and dissipates nearly every vibration. It’s a notable improvement over the previous CAT8 Connect.
For those of you who haven’t gotten the chance to swing a CAT9 yet, we encourage you to give it a shot. It’s a powerful one-piece alloy bat with advantages often only seen in fully composite models.
Whether you prefer a bat that delivers a more traditional feel, or you’re looking for the most comfortable alloy bats on the market, you can’t go wrong swinging a Marucci CAT. And no company knows this better than our friends over at JustBats and JustGloves. Their friendly team of experts is available 24/7 and ready to help guide you to the bat (or glove) of your dreams. They offer free, fast shipping and a full array of personalization options. Also, every piece of Marucci equipment from baseball bats and baseball gloves purchased through their sites is protected by our manufacturer’s warranty.
They’re a great team, and they’re with you from Click... to Hit... to Catch!