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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
After three serious, long batting practice sessions, among several different hitters, using the 2016 Anderson Centerfire drop 11 youth barrel and drop 5 senior barrel, we’ve pinpointed who these hybrid bats are most likely to please.
In particular, those looking for lighter swing weight, a decent-sized barrel, a two-piece bat that naturally dampens swing with a slightly tapered knob, and/or a performance aluminum alloy barrel hot out of the wrapper may very well find their weapon of choice in the 2016 Anderson Centerfire bat.
It’s with that backdrop the 2016 Centerfire from Anderson takes center stage. The bat addresses the hand sting issue with a two-piece design. The composite handle eliminates much of the hand sting the player may have found in a one-piece while the aluminum barrel (made from similar material found in the barrel of the Techzilla 2.0) still delivers the ball crushing power we’ve come to expect. Additionally, the bat is made in a drop 5 senior barrel.
Anderson, the company, revamped itself about 2 years ago and revitalized the show-stopping sizzle of a one-piece aluminum bat in the Techzilla 2.0 for 2015. Yet that Techzilla fell short in its size offerings by having no big barrel version. As well, its one-piece construction was enough of a hand ringer on mishits to keep more than a couple of players from using it consistently—and never on a colder day. (Although we should add, those who could use the 2015 bat quickly fell in love with it).
If a lighter swinging hybrid bat in the youth barrel or senior league (big barrel) space is in your wheelhouse, then there are several other bats, in addition to the 2016 Anderson Centerfire bat which you may consider. To name a few, Easton’s 2016 Z-Core Hybrid, Rawling’s 2016 Trio, and Combat’s Fray. There are several other hybrid bats in the performance space but they tend toward the heavier swing weight. Those would include the DeMarni Voodoo and the Louisville Slugger 716 Select.
To date, Anderson has produced only one-piece aluminum bats. Those bats, like the Techzilla, were famed far and wide for their stellar performance. In fact, many consider the original youth barrel Techzilla circa 2006 one of the best bats ever made. It was, and still is, one of our favorite bats and, although now illegal in a handful of leagues, can still be found on ebay with a search like this at a serious premium. A 2006 bat selling for above retail 9 years later is solid proof of the prowess of that beautiful bomb dropper.
The 2016 Anderson Centerfire is a traditional hybrid baseball bat design. Meaning, it comes with a composite handle merged onto an aluminum barrel. Those who prefer these hybrid bats appreciate the lighter swing when compared to a fully aluminum bat but still maintain the hot the out of wrapper taste of peak performance aluminum barrel. Compared to a fully composite bat, you can generally expect hybrid bats to have a heavier swing weight, no break-in time, and longer durability. They also tend to have smaller barrels and sweet spots when compared to full composites.
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.