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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We have spent over a hundred hours of cage and game time experience among several different players to formulate our 2017 Combat MAXUM Review.
This, combined with our 2016 review, should get you on the right path if you’re looking at pulling the trigger.
Our extensive experience, both in game and in cage with the Combat MAXUM, suggests the 2017 Combat MAXUM is best for hitters looking for the absolute most barrel size per swing weight. The barrel’s physical size, the bat’s defining feature, is unrivaled in the market. While the MAXUM’s total barrel size is first in class, we were not convinced its max performance area is any larger than other top shelf performance bats. But, we do think the Combat competes for the top spot in best performance bat.
It will depend on who you ask, but some would say there are no comparable bats to the 2016 or 2017 Combat MAXUM. It is, they would argue, in a class of its own. Indeed, at least to some extent, we can agree. It is a massively sized single piece composite bat with an array of sizes with an ultra light swing weight. No other bat or bat company delivers that degree of single piece composite sticks.
But Combat isn’t alone in the space. Similar designs, at least in some of the sizes, can be found in the Dirty South War and Dirty South Swag bats. The War and Swag are built, we’d guess, with the Combat line in mind. They may lack the sizing options to be considered a true competitor, but they are clearly making a run. Another in the single piece composite space is the Louisville Slugger Catalyst—although it lacks the barrel size to be considered the same level of performance.
There are virtually no changes to the 2017 Combat MAXUM when compared to the 2016 version aside from the change in color design. This approach is not uncommon for many bat companies, so nothing to be up in arms about. They simply manufacture so many bats based on their expected sales volume for a given year, and then revamp the design for the following year and reprint. If a buyer is smart, they’d look for the 2016 version of the MAXUM while it can still be found in wrapper. Soon enough, probably by early 2017, we will see the prices equalize.
We have long heralded Combat’s firm commitment to perfecting the single piece composite stick with an ultra light swing weight (MOI). The design, in theory, delivers the absolute most power directly to the ball and then amplifies it through the use of a well worked in composite. in practice, Combat has done more than any other company to match the theory. The 2017 Combat MAXUM is the latest in Combat’s quest. The bat is a single piece composite bat formed into the largest barrel on the market.
Durability, which may have been a concern three or four years ago in the full composite space, has been designed out of the equation with more reliable construction and Combat’s industry-exclusive 500 day (one time replacement) warranty.
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.