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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
For 2016, Easton Bats moved their BBCOR line from the S3 series and into the Z-Core brand of names. They also added a Z-Core for little league and senior barrel sizes. However, in a few offerings, they kept the Speed (S) and End Loaded (XL) names, including, as pertains to this review, the 2016 Easton S3.
From a recommendations standpoint, the 2016 Easton S3, like previous years 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 Easton S3 has never been known for power and its potential to ring a few hands due to its ultra-stiff feel has left more than a few leaving this bat behind in search of more barrel per swing weight, less hand sting, and more power. We’d hesitantly recommend it for the struggling hitter who doesn’t see serious pitch speed (sub 40mph) but, other than that, would be hard-pressed to get excited about the bat for anyone in particular.
In the right hands, the stiff nature of the S3 could lead very likely due to some damage as, for an aluminum bat, at least, the swing weight allows for ultra-quick hands. But we’d guess a legit hitter would find at least as much success, and likely a lot more, with a different stick. The S3 doesn’t pack enough punch to be considered seriously by good players.
From a pure market reach standpoint, the limited offerings of sizes in the 2016 Easton S3 make it even more difficult to recommend across the board. It will only come in four sizes: a Youth Drop 13; 2 5/8 drop 10; a 2 3/4 drop 10. There is also a Junior Barrel Version of the bat, which may be its most recommendable version due to the type of player looking for JBB bats (young, inexperienced, and not seeing impressive impact speeds). Even then, the JBB version isn’t meant for serious pitching, and you can get a little more bang for the buck they are asking for.
There are few bats more mimicked than a one-piece alloy with an attempt at a light swing weight. If you are looking for a similar bat to the 2 1/4 drop 13, then the Louisville Slugger 516 Omaha comes to mind as well as the Rawlings 5150.
A drop 10 in the 2 3/4 or 2 5/8 as a single piece light swinging aluminum can also be found in the Slugger 516, the 5150 from Rawlings as well as the 2016 Rawlings VELO.
There are virtually no performance differences between the 2015 Easton S3 and the 2016 Easton S3. (Nor, for that matter, were there any differences in the 2014 S3 and the 2015 S3). The bat continues to be a single piece aluminum stick with a long barrel (for aluminum) and real stiff feel for the player looking for a light swinging bat.
The 2016 S3 keeps the same “HyperLite” Alloy which the 2015 S3 added to spite the 2014 version.
As we stated above, the 2016 Easton S3 is a stiff one piece bat with an ultra light swing. In 2014 Easton has several complaints of the S3 denting way too early in its life. The change to a new “hyperlite” alloy in 2015, which is now found on their BBCOR aluminum barreled bats, appears to be solid move as the 2015 S3 was reviewed well for the select group of smaller hitters who find success simply making contact.
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.