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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Will this bat be as popular as it was in 2014? We are sure Easton hopes so. We suspect, with other bats coming this year that are serious improvements over last year’s version (and here), that Easton’s dominance in the end-loaded bat space might have a bite taken from it. However, with how wildly successful the XL1 was, we expect this bat to find its way, quite often, to the plate at every level of metal bat baseball.
The Easton Power Brigade line is back in 2015 with the usual suspects. The Speed (S), XL, and MAKO lines will once again grace the plates of little leagues, high school,s and colleges around the country. Of course, the big news is the MAKO TORQ with its spinning handle, but here we focus on the Easton XL1.
For those who missed it, we voted the 2014 Easton XL1 as the best bat in 2014. The extended barrel on that yellow beauty was a verifiable bomb dropper. The end-loaded weight (in fact, a bit overweight, in the drop 5) was a player’s favorite and a pitcher’s nightmare. While the MAKO won the hype contest we are confident the XL1 ruled the roost in 2014.
We would recommend the Easton XL1 to hitters who: Are willing to pay for the pedigree of a proven winner; Just about anyone that can swing it; Want a composite barrel; are not on a budget; prefer end-loaded bats; prefer two-piece bats; want to improve their bomb-dropping skills.
We would NOT recommend the Easton XL1 to hitters who: Prefer One-Piece Bats; Do not want a composite barrel; prefer a balanced or lighter swing; Want Aluminum BBCOR; Are in a League that requires 2 1/4 barrels.
It is without surprise, then, that the 2015 version of the XL1 is virtually unchanged with the obvious exception of a color up. The once bright yellow bat now takes on MAKO colors in its neon orange. But the bat is still an extended barrel and end-loaded two-piece composite stick. The IMX barrel composite is unchanged. The CXN connective piece is the same. And the composite handle with perforated silicone grip isn’t any different either. In other words, same awesome bat, the same top-shelf price, but a different year.
There were two criticisms of the 2014 that are not addressed in the 2015 bat. The first is a few disliked the factory grip. The grip did appear to get dirty and slippery quite fast in comparison to other grips. However, we think this is more of a preference issue than a real design one. As well, there are grips you can purchase post-market if you don’t like it.
The second, and a more verifiable gripe, is the price point. A $400 two-piece composite BBCOR bat is quite an investment. It of course now pales to other bats made by Easton, but bat prices sure seem to have done nothing but go upwards these days. The 2015 Easton price point is the same as last year. But considering the 2014 is basically the same as the 2015, maybe the smarter buy, while supplies last, is to go for the 2014 XL1 while suppliers are trying to make room in their inventory for the new version. Based on current prices, that should save you about $100.
Sizing is a bit different in the 2014 Line. The bat will only come in a BBCOR drop 3, Big Barrel Drop 8 and drop 5. We have yet to weigh out the drop 5, but it will be very interesting to see if, like the previous year, it comes in at 2 to 3 ounces over its stated weight. The Easton XL1 will NOT come in a youth version of the bat—as that bat will be released in a new line called the Easton MAKO XL.
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.