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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We spent 2 hours in the cage with the new 2016 Mizuno NightHawk baseball bat (Amazon Price Check) and another 1 hour reading online reviews and message forums. We found, on the whole, most are quite a bit excited about this two-piece hybrid from Mizuno and, from the few that have hit with it (including us), we believe it fills a great niche in the lighter swinging hybrid bats market.
We’d recommend the 2016 Mizuno Nighthawk to hitters who prefer two-piece bats yet need or want a lighter swing. Also, those who need or want a bat that still feels stiff but doesn’t come with the associated hand sting are looking at the right bat in the 2016 Mizuno Nighthawk.
The 2016 Mizuno Nighthawk might have become a one-hit-wonder had any player actually wondered about it. This was a weird aberration on the Mizuno front with a one year release of the bat and then a transition into the Carbon and Hot Metal series of bats. It was too easily confused with the Nighthawk in their fastpitch line and few ever gave it a chance. In the end, the bat is perfectly reasonable and, you can be sure, you’ll never find anyone else with this bat.
The Nighhawk is fairly unique considering its light swinging hybrid design with variable wall thickness. The only baseball bat we can think of which comes in a two-piece hybrid with variable wall thickness is the 2015 or 2016 Rawlings TRIO. However, the TRIO has an extended composite end cap which gives it a longer barrel (at least in the BBCOR) by about 1 1/2 inches. As well, the TRIO’s swing weight, by our calculation, ends up ever so slightly heavier than the 2016 Mizuno Nighthawk. Other similar bats in terms of lighter swinging true hybrids would be the DeMarini NVS Vexxum and the Easton Mako Hybrid.
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.