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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
While there are several bats in the youth and senior league space that are full alloy, none quite have the end load as the XL3. Its closest competitor is DeMarini’s 2016 Insane—which boats an end load on a single-piece alloy in many more sizes than the XL3. However, the Insane DOES NOT come in a drop 5 version.
A drop 5 in a single-piece alloy can be found in the Marucci Cat 6, but the CAT 6 is a balanced bat made for line drives, whereas the XL3 in the drop five is made for towering bombs from the biggest kid on the playground. Another similar bat would be Louisville Slugger’s 2016 516 Omaha. It also comes in a drop 5 (among several other sizes). But the 516, like the CAT 6, is built as a balanced bat.
Nothing quite captures, especially in the drop 5 version, the heavy-hitting power of the 2016 Easton XL3 drop 5.
Easton Bats moved their performance BBCOR line to the MAKO, Hybrid, and Z-Core line of bats in 2016—abandoning previous years’ names in the Speed and XL Series. In little league and senior barrel bats (2 1/4 and 2 5/8), however, they kept some old keepsakes with similar designs to years past. Namely, the 2016 Easton S2, 2016 Easton S3, and, as we discuss below, the 2016 Easton XL3.
If you’re looking for the most massive hitting stick in the drop 5 game, then we’d point you in the Easton XL3 direction first. We do think the 2015 version, which is generally cheaper these days, is just as good a get as the 2016 version. We’d also shy away from the 2014 version due to its denting and older alloy—unless it were a fantastic deal.
We’d also feel pretty good about a youth barrel bat (drop 11 & 2 1/4) needed in the heavy-hitting single-piece space to look closely at the 2015 or 2016 Easton XL3. But if you need more bat speed, appreciate a bigger barrel, would like composite or a hybrid bat, and don’t appreciate hand sting very much, then we’d say keep on looking.
Like 2015, there will be no BBCOR or 2 3/4 Big Barrel version of the Easton XL3. If you’re looking for single-piece aluminum from Easton in those categories, check the 2016 Easton Z-Core XL HMX.
The 2016 Easton XL3 will come in:
The 2016 XL3 is similar in many respects to the 2015 Easton XL3 (remarkably similar to the 2014 Easton XL3). The XL3 is still a one-piece premium aluminum alloy bat with an extra stiff feel and an end load. For an aluminum one piece in the little league, youth, and ample barrel space the barrel length is noteworthy but still lacks compared to other 2016 composite barreled bats.
The 2016 XL3 keeps the same “HyperLite” Alloy, which 2015 gained from the 2014 version.
As we stated above, the 2016 Easton XL3 is a stiff one-piece bat with a heavy end load. In 2014 Easton has several complaints of the XL3 denting way too early in its life. The change to a new “Hyperlite” alloy, which is now found on their BBCOR aluminum barreled bats, appears to be a solid move as the 2015 XL3 generally was given rave reviews.
The end load on this single-piece bat is it’s a real unique feature. In particular, the drop 5 2 5/8 senior league Easton XL3 is as heavy-hitting a bat you can find in the space. Those capable of wielding it could hit a ball to the moon.
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.