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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
In terms of quality, the 2018 Marucci Hex Alloy sits somewhere between the CAT 7 and the Marucci F5, but it also fills in a size the CAT 7 does not come in*. That is, the Hex Alloy only comes in a USSSA 2 3/4 drop 10. If that is your niche, and you want a CAT 7, then we would recommend the Hex Alloy as a reasonable, and less expensive, substitute.
*The Buster Posey Pro Metal bat is technically a CAT 7 in a drop 10 2 3/4. These, however, are limited in quantity.
Note, too, this bat uses an upgraded alloy from the 2015 version of the bat with the same name. And that upgraded alloy makes a monster barrel with a very loud ping. Like, very loud. It does not, however, come with the same anti-vibration knob that has helped make the CAT 7 as famous as it is. Here are some general guidelines as to who we think will and will not like the Marucci Hex Alloy.
Marucci upgraded their Hex Alloy with a new barrel, more focused balance, and some sizing options in a 2018 version. This is a welcome addition to the 2018 line of big barrel bats and delivers a nice middle ground bat for those not quite willing to splurge on a CAT 7, but want to be in the performance bat space. After extensive use, serious cage time, and conversations with major vendors and the manufacturer, we put together this 2018 Marucci Hex Alloy 2 review.
Value Purchase.The Hex Alloy is a good subsititute for someone who thinks they might really like the CAT 7 but would like to save a few bucks in the drop 10 2 3/4 space. Prefer a stiff feel. Willing to manage some vibration in the hands on mishits in exchange for honest feedback. Hot out of the wrapper and a massive sound. Need a drop 10 2 3/4 USSSA Bat.
Outside of the Marucci line, we could argue the most comparable bat is the Rawlings VELO. Both bats are light swinging and big barrel bats made for the drop 10 space.
However, the Rawlings VELO does swing lighter as the composite end cap and variable wall thickness, as well as its shorter barrel, all lend to an easier bat to top out on swing speed. The VELO also comes in a number of other sizes instead of just a drop 10 2 3/4.
Inside the Marucci line, both the F5 and the Marucci CAT 7 are comparable bats. Both use variable wall thickness and are single piece aluminum bats. But, consider the F5 as a multi-size option and an entry level performance while the CAT 7 competes, in both price and performance, with the top tier of bats on the planet. The Hex Alloy is squarely in the middle.
If you are committed to a single piece aluminum from Marucci, then your decision will come down to what size you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.
Compared to the 2015/16 version of this bat, which we affectionately called the skittle, the 2018 Marucci Hex Alloy 2 boasts a larger barrel with a slightly lower swing weight. This is made possible by thinning out the barrel walls with a more expensive aluminum alloy.
The bat will continue to be made in the drop 10 2 3/4 Senior barrel bat. Our guess is this will find a lot of takers. But the 2 1/4 youth barrel bat will not exist in the 2018 version. The reasons for this are obvious enough: Little League is no longer using BPF 1.15 bats, but instead are moving to a USABat standard. From our conversations with Marucci, they will not be making a USABat anytime soon and likely anytime ever.
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.