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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We spent three hours in the cage with the 2016 Axe Avenge baseball bat, another hour reading online reviews from trusted sources, and one on the phone with some of the Axe Bat engineers. We’ve also spent countless hours in the cage and in-game with previous versions of the 2016 Axe Avenge bats.
After evaluation, we are comfortable recommending the 2016 Axe Avenge bat to those who prefer two-piece composite bats, appreciate a bat with an asymmetric handle, and look for a top-shelf performance bat.
To date, we’ve hit with and reviewed a host of these unique bats, including the Element, Avenge Baseball, Avenge Fast Pitch, Avenge Softball, T-Ball, Elite, Fungo, and Maple Composite Bats.
The idea of an asymmetric handle and one-sided hitting has been fleshed out at every baseball and softball level. The 2016 Axe Avenge is the progeny of years of experience producing consistent performance baseball bats with an asymmetric handle.
No other bat on the market has an asymmetric handle unless Axe Bats makes it. The most similar bat to the 2016 Axe Avenge would be the 2015 Axe Avenge. The 2015, however, does not contain the new Endogrid knob for a dampened sting on mishits nor the directional support disc only made possible by a bat with one-sided hitting.
If you are willing to forgo the asymmetric handle and barrel built for one-sided hitting (which would be the reasons to get the Axe Avenge in the first place), then you’re back to square one. Another high-end two-piece composite bats in the 2016 space are the DeMarini CF8, Louisville Slugger’s 916 Prime, Adidas RBZ EQT, and the Easton MAKO. If you’d like something a bit more unique—like the Axe Avenge—then maybe take a look at the 2016 Easton MAKO Torq with its famed spinning handle.
The 2016 Axe Avenge bat is the top-shelf version built from a long line of bats from Axe Bats (owned by Baden Sports) and their noteworthy asymmetric handle. They patented the now-famous Axe handle several years ago and have never looked back—producing bats in the softball, fastpitch, baseball, and wood bat space. Just last year, and as a breakthrough in the American baseball psyche, the Axe handle was added to a Victus Bat and swung by, among others, Dustin Pedroia on a pretty consistent basis in the 2015 season. That verification of the technology put Axe bats on the map to stay—as if it wasn’t already.
Three unique features grace the 2016 Axe Avenge baseball bat:
Asymmetric Handle: We’ve discussed, at length, the benefits an asymmetric handle brings to your game. As a primer for some and a review for others, the asymmetric handle creates an ergonomic method for proper swing mechanics. Namely, the ability to drive the knob of the bat to the baseball more easily. Such movement is proven to increase swing speed and forces the barrel of the bat into the swing plane sooner—allowing for better hit balls and more opportunity for contact.
Asymmetric Handle (continued): An asymmetric handle also forces contact on a single side of the barrel. This allows engineers to drive technology to the hitting side of the barrel. For example, the 2016 Axe Avenge uses a directional insert (ACR Insert) within the bat to support the barrel’s contact side for more consistent performance and durability.
Upgraded from the 2015 Axe Avenge, the casing on the knob comes in a wire-framed design, dampening the sting on mishits. Axe Bats refers to this as the Endogrid knob. We tested this out side by side with the 2015 Axe Avenge, and we definitely felt a difference.
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.