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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Our 2017 Marucci Hex Connect review comes on the heels of three 13U tournaments and no less than 1000 hacks in a cage with the bat. We used it with big hitters, small hitters, good hitters, and bad hitters. We’ve spent time trading emails with the manufacturers and a couple of major vendors, downloading their take. We’ve made some videos of the bat in the cage and at un-boxing. This background, combined with the now thousands of hours we have spent reviewing and writing about baseball and softball bats contribute to the following 2017 Marucci Hex Connect review.
The Hex Connect is built for the player looking for maximum barrel size and a light swing. It also provides a smooth drive on contact due to its new connective design. These features make the bat appealing to a large selection of players in the big barrel space. Those who prefer one-piece designs, aluminum barrels, or very stiff transitions with a lot of feedback were not as in love with this bat.
All major bat companies, save Combat, produce a top-shelf two-piece composite bat whose focus is a big barrel and a light swing. The Easton MAKO, DeMarini CF sets, and Louisville Slugger’s 917 Prime are three of the most common examples. As such, those three bats are comparable to the Hex Connect.
Further, the 917 from Slugger also uses a unique connective design, like the Marucci Hex Connect, to encourage sting dampening. Slugger calls this their TRU3 (you can see that explanation here). This makes the Slugger’s 917 the most comparable bat to the 2017 Marucci Hex Connect.
In 2015, Marucci released a bat called the Marucci HEX Composite. This was a single-piece composite bat with a monster barrel. We are big fans. The Hex Connect, we could argue, is just a step away from the 2015 Hex. Its stark difference is the two-piece nature of the bat and the added tech inside the connective piece.
Outside of that stretch comparison, it’s reasonable to suggest the Hex Connect is a new bat altogether from Marucci. Their foray into the gigantic two-piece composite space with an oversized barrel and light swing isn’t surprising at all.
The Hex will NOT be released in a BBCOR. Rather, only a Senior League (2 5/8) and Big Barrel (2 3/4) version in a drop 10. High school and collegiate players might be disappointed by that news, but they should remember Marucci’s big push in the drop 3 space is the Marucci CAT 7 and the new Marucci CAT 7 Connect. If it’s the soft feel Marucci’s new two-piece design players are after, the same connective SDX tech found in the Hex Connect can be found in the CAT 7 Connect which does come in BBCOR.
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.