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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
I was pursuing little league baseball bat videos on youtube on a Friday night, because when you have 7 children this is what you do, and I came across a video for a bat called the Easton MAKO Torq.
It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on and then it hit me: My goodness, the freaking handle is rotating around the bat on purpose. See for yourself:
In theory, a rotating handle on the bottom hand would allow two things to happen:
A massive problem in little league and high school is young batters over-gripping the bat. When the bat is gripped more in our palms than our fingers it makes a proper swinging motion, by getting our hands inside the ball, very difficult. A rotating handle on the bottom hand should allow a hitter’s wrists to have more say in the trajectory of the bat despite any over-gripping.
If the bottom part of the handle can be rotated during the swing it may allow for a hitter to both get the barrel of the bat in the zone faster and keep it there for longer. At impressive levels of baseball, keeping your barrel in the zone for the longest possible time is very much a function of solid mechanics. At little league and high school levels, however, it may work as encouragement when player transitions into the big time.
But no matter how amazing my eyes have a hard time focusing when I see a baseball bat cost $550. Oddly enough, the $550 bat sure makes the $399 Easton XL1 bat seem like a steal of a deal—which may have been Easton’s strategy all along. It also makes the other 2015 innovative bats (RIP-IT Helium and Mizuno MaxCor) look affordable too.
This bat, known well now as the Easton Mako Torq (not Torque) is real and is for sale. It comes in a handful of different sizes: BBCOR (BB15MKT) 31 to 34 inches; 2 1/4 Youth Barrel drop 10 (YB15MKT); Senior League 2 5/8 drop 5 and drop 8 (SL15MKT5T, SL15MKT8T).
But before you drop a couple years worth of lawn mowing money on a baseball bat, you should probably ask a more obvious question: Why would a bat ever need to have a spinning handle?
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.