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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Easton’s 2016 Hybrid Z-Core from Easton is a heavier swinging two piece hybrid bat (composite handle and aluminum barrel). Our review consists of hitting it in the cage and on the field with a few different hitters.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid XL (Price Check*) is made for players who prefer a big barreled and heavy swinging aluminum barrel bat that eliminates hand sting through a composite handle.
DeMarini’s Voodoo Raw and Louisville Slugger’s 716 Select Select both stand out as comparable bats to the 2016 Easton Hybrid XL. All three bats are two-piece hybrid bats with heavier swing weights. They also tend to be built for the heavy hitter and the collegiate player who prefers a bat with no break-in period on the barrel.
The three bats aren’t exactly the same, however. Easton boasts a larger barrel size than the other two while the Voodoo boasts a serious amount of technology in the connective piece to transfer max energy to the ball. The 716 comes in slightly lighter swing weight than either.
In the end, it’s hard to say you’d go wrong with either of those choices. We prefer the Voodoo on what may simply be an “institutional knowledge bias”. Meaning, we simply have had a ton of experience with the Voodoo bat and this new iteration of Easton is, well, new. As well, the Hybrid XL only comes in a BBCOR version while the Voodoo and the 716 come in all types of sizes and models. That fact alone eliminates a significant amount of players.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid XL bat is a two-piece baseball bat built with a composite handle and aluminum barrel. It is identical to the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid (no XL) but with a heavier swing weight. The aluminum barrel, like the Z-Core bats from 2015 (S2z and S3z) has a composite sleeve inside which gives it the strength and durably to be severely oversized. This is a good thing.
Like the 2015 Easton S2z and S3z, the Easton Z-Core Hybrid XL will use a spiraled carbon fiber handle design to decrease sting on mishits and add to a buttery soft swing and ping. We are not sure if this actually works, but we do find the two-piece design on most bats does indeed remove hand sting.
The swing weight of the bat measures as Easton’s heaviest performance bat in 2016. This makes it very similar to the swing weight of the 2016 Voodoo Raw from Demarini, about 5% heavier than it’s little brother Z-Core Hybrid and 13% heavier than the traditional Easton MAKO.
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.