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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
For 2016, Easton Bats moved their BBCOR line from the Speed (S) series of bats into the Z-Core Hybrid brand of names. Generally, the differences between the Z-Core and the S2 is the use of a different alloy (Easton calls HMX) which allows for a bigger barrel. However, in a few offerings, they kept the Speed (S) including, as pertains to this review, the 2016 Easton S2.
We expect this to be the last year the S2 is made by Easton in any form—at least for a while. The MAKO Z-Core Hybrid and its larger barrel appear to be taking over the hybrid game on the Easton front.
We don’t hate the 2016 Easton S2—its been a mainstay and was a rather successful bat in 2014—but it’s hard to say it’s one of our favorites. Players who want an aluminum barrel tend to be advanced hitters who can deal with a generally smaller barrel and an end load feel. But the S2 is a balanced swinging bat built for younger players looking for as much opportunity to hit the ball as possible. As such, players in that category tend to appreciate the larger barrels, and generally lower swing weight, found on composite bats these days making the appropriate market for the 2016 Easton S2 rather small. As well, the fact the 2015 version is identical in all things but the grip and color when compared to the S2 make it’s nearly impossible to recommend the 2016 when 2015 can be found less expensive as suppliers unload inventory.
From a recommendations standpoint, the 2016 Easton S2, like previous year’s iterations, fits the mold of a light swinging bat made for players who need more help in simply finding the ball at the plate than anything else. The bat’s saving grace, and what makes it at least recommendable for some hitters, is the two-piece design which makes for a smoother feeling hit by reducing hand sting. That handle, which Easton refers to as the SIC Black Composite Composite, has been used in the Speed series since it’s release in 2014.
For 2016, a light swinging two-piece hybrid bat can be found in the Anderson Centerfire. Also, one of Rawlings’ VELO in the Senior League version is also a two-piece hybrid bat for 2016. Most other hybrid bats in the 2 5/8 Senior League and 2 1/4 Youth (aka Little League) space are designed as an end-loaded bat. (See the DeMarini Overlord Raw, for example)
There are virtually no performance differences between the 2015 Easton S2 and the 2016 Easton S2. (Nor, for that matter, were there any differences in the 2014 S2 and the 2015 S2). The bat continues to be a hybrid bat (composite handle, aluminum barrel) with a low swing weight. Built for players looking for bat speed over bat power. The 2016 version of the S2 does have a new grip that Easton added to most of its 2016 performance bats. Of course, the paint job is different too.
As we stated above, the 2016 Easton S2 is a two-piece hybrid bat consisting of a carbon handle and aluminum alloy barrel. This is the same makeup of the Easton S2 since it’s origination in 2014. The connective piece, like all of Easton’s two-piece bats, consists of a stiff transition welding Easton refers to as CXN.
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.