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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
A monster-sized barrel with a light swing in the single-piece alloy space, like the Z-Core Speed, is hard to come by. But, we’d definitely look closely at the 516 from Slugger (our 516 reviews) before pulling the trigger on the Z-Core Speed. The lighter swing weight and the bigger barrel in the Z-Core, if that’s what we wanted, would be plenty of enough reason to pull the trigger in Easton’s direction.
The Z-Core Speed from Easton has been in our possession, and cage, for nearly one month. We’ve observed a number of hitters hitting with the bat. We also reviewed our 2016 Z-Core Speed write-up last year, as that bat is basically identical to the 2017 version. As well, we spent well over an hour, searching the internet for information on the new Z-Core, exchanging emails with folks at Easton, and reading user experience with the previous year’s bat. Armed with that background, we write this 2017 Easton Z-Core Speed Review.
We would buy the 2017 Z-Core Speed if we were
We would price shop. Starting here (Amazon). We would look for new, in wrapper, warrantied bats from trustworthy vendors in a 2016 model, as there isn’t a significant difference with the 2017 version. We might also consider the Whiteout Z-Core speed in the event we wanted a bat with more flash.
We would not buy the Z-Core Speed if we were
Like last year’s 2016 Z-Core, the 2017 version is a single-piece aluminum alloy bat with a light swing weight. The barrel is the exact aluminum barrel found in the Z-Core speed lines. For at least a couple of years now, Easton has used an inner sleeve in the bat’s design to increase the size of the barrel and sweet spot. It is the largest barreled single-piece alloy on the market.
Our measurements showed this bat swings about 10% heavier than the MAKO. It is about 10% lighter swinging than the XL series of bats from Easton. It should be categorized as a lighter swinging balanced bat.
There is only a design feature change from the 2016 version. Which, it turns out, was just color up from the 2015 version (called the S3Z). They did add the word “Speed” to the barrel and name.
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.