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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
The 2023 Axe Strato is a single-piece bat that currently comes in a USA and USSSA. We expect a BBCOR version shortly. The bat is built for the severe entry-level player or the big hitting kid that wants a light swing, a good-sized barrel, and a single stiff piece on an ergonomic handle.
The bat is still new, so we are still gathering data and feedback from players and the market at large. Generally, the bat gets good ratings, was seen a handful of times in the LLWS for 2022 (when players could choose any bat they wanted), and can hit the ball well enough. Online reviews look cheerful, and we are encouraged that the Axe Strato is a good improvement over the Axe Elite One from years past. We’d love to see a drop 5 version of the bat for the power hitter as we think the drop 8 is a bit in no man’s land, but the release season is still young.
Single-piece bats are generally for those who either don’t care about hand sting or don’t hit the ball hard enough (or see fast enough pitch speed) to worry about it. That ideal tends toward bigger hitters who want all the power they can transfer into the ball or the more undersized hitter that needs as much bat control as possible to find pitches.
All Axe Bats come with a patterned Axe handle design which has proven to give better bat control and increase exit speed for some hitters. Although it’s a bit to get used to, after a handful of swings, you’ll never wonder why you swung a round knob in the first place.
There are a lot of single-piece alloy bats, but none have the ergonomic handle as the 2023 Axe Strato. However, look at bats like the Slugger Omaha or Solo, the Easton Fuze line, or DeMarini’s Voodoo One.
This is the first year of the Strato, but consider it an upgrade from the Axe Elite One line of bats.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.