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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
After a month of use with the BBCOR and USSSA versions of the CAT 8 we put together this 2019 CAT 8 Review.
(Looking for the 2020 USA Marucci CAT review?)
The bat upgrades a few pieces to the CAT 7 (which we review here).
Noticeably, the difference in the barrel length as the CAT 8 uses 8 different thicknesses of barrel wall. This was made possible by a change in the alloy. The CAT 8 still uses the patented AV2 knob which helps dampen sting. Our hitters, without surprise, loved the sound, power and feel of the 2019 Marucci CAT 8. More details follow.
You might also take a peak on the Money version of the CAT 8.
Look, you just can’t go wrong with the CAT 8 from Marucci. The bat rakes, always has. People love the feel and sound. The barrel is big for aluminum (and manageable even compared to composite barrels. The price point is much more palatable than some other bats out there.
If it has anything going against it (and this isn’t really anything) is that it’s swing weight is heavier than some popular BBCOR bats. Don’t consider the CAT 8 a end loaded bat, but by no means is it a ultra light or ‘balanced’ swing.
No other single piece aluminum bat has sting dampening abilities in the knob. But, if you wanted someting with a fancy knob, we’d check out the Axe Avenge. Although the Axe is constructed much differently it does have a similarly unique knob.
In the single piece aluminum space there are not any bats that run as expensive as the CAT 8. It is a man among boys in that department—and for some deservedly so. The Cat 8 is legit. But, if you are looking in the stiff single piece aluminum world check out a bat like Slugger’s 518 Omaha. As well, you might like the stiff feel of DeMarini’s Voodoo Insane for 2019–although that is officially a two piece bat (but ultra stiff).
The differences between the CAT 8 and CAT 7 are not monumental, but they are enough to warrant a conversation.
The biggest difference between the CAT 8 and the CAT 7 is the use of a different material in the CAT 8 that allows for another thickness in the barrel wall. The CAT 7, if you remember, has 7 different levels of thickness in the bats walls. This allows for a longer sweet spot and good weight distribution outside the center of the barrel. The CAT 8 upgrades its aluminum to provide for an 8th thickness. This expands the sweet spot even further.
It is impossible for us, or just about anyone, to measure the true differences between the CAT 8 and the CAT 7. Both bats, we are sure, are great. And our exit speed tests showed them perform quite similarly.
This is a single piece aluminum bat built with variable wall thickness. The CAT 7 was built similarly. And, turns out, that bat was fantastic. The CAT 8 comes in a BBCOR and big barrel option.
The CAT8 BBCOR is a one-piece alloy bat built with AZ105 super strength aluminum alloy meaning thinner walls, higher response rate, and better durability. The precision-balanced barrel features a ring-free multi-variable wall design that creates an expanded sweet spot, while the patented AV2 Anti-Vibration knob produces a better feel and less negative feedback.
• AZ105 alloy, the strongest aluminum on the Marucci bat line, allows for thinner barrel walls, a higher response rate and better durability
• Multi-variable wall design creates an expanded sweet spot and thinner barrel walls that are more forgiving after off-centered contact
• 2nd Generation AV2 Anti-Vibration knob features an upgraded, finely tuned harmonic dampening system for better feel and less negative vibrational feedback
• Ring-free barrel construction allows for more barrel flex and increases performance with no “dead” spots
• Precision-balanced barrel results in a lower M.O.I. and balanced feel for precision and control
• One-piece alloy construction provides a clean, consistent, traditional swing
• Professionally inspired handle features a removable taper and an ergonomic knob shape for more top-hand control and comfort
• Micro-perforated soft-touch grip with extra tack improves feel and control
Swing Weight: Balanced
Material: AZ105 Alloy
Warranty: One Year Manufacturer’s 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.