Disclaimer: This site uses affiliate links. Learn More.
By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We spent 2 hours in the cage with the 2016 Axe Element Hyperwhip and really appreciated the design’s thoughtfulness. It’s hard to remember you are swinging a one-piece alloy in the thick of cage work since the bat feels as balanced as any composite bat we’ve hit with. The over-sized barrel on the Hyperwhip adds to this illusion. Yet there is definitely some stiffness in the swing. As well, those who have never swung an Axe bat may need a handful of hacks to get accustomed to the asymmetric handle.
We’d expect the average player who prefers a stiffer feel in their bat but, can also appreciate the barrel size and lighter swing weight of a composite BBCOR, to fall in love with the 2016 Element for its stiff and balanced feel.
The Hyperwhip from Axe set a standard in the bat line they’ve followed ever since. It drives home the idea of one-sided hitting, has a good sweet spot, and dials in the right handle. Hitters who like a unique bat and want an Axe handle could start here and be happy their whole playing career.
Most other bats we review have comparable bats in the market which are easy to point out. Not so much with the 2016 Axe Hyperwhip. No other bats use an asymmetric handle. No other bats have an asymmetric end cap. There are only a couple that use a few inches of a composite at the end of a single piece alloy bat to lower the swing weight. In that regard, we can think of the 2016 Rawlings 5150 BBCOR or, maybe, the 2016 Rawlings VELO. But neither of those quite captures the unique nature the Hyperwhip has.
If any company receives extra points for pushing the limits of alloy and composite bat design it has to be Axe bats from Baden Sports. The decrease in swing weight while keeping the barrel size similar when compared to the 2015 version is made possible through two unique features, both of which are new to the 2016 Hyperwhip. First, the 2016 version replaces the alloy end cap and three inches of the end of the barrel with a lighter composite. This decrease in end weight drives the balance point of the bat more towards the hands—giving it a swing weight more in line with a balanced composite bat—without decreasing effective barrel size.
Second, because the bat’s handle forces once sided hitting, Axe shaved off the backside of the bat’s barrel towards the end cap. This again decreases weight towards the end of the bat and pushes creates a balance point more towards the hands for a lighter swing without decreasing effective barrel size.
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.