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2021 Marucci CAT 9 Review | We Hit the Legend

October 5, 2020 | by Bat Digest Review Team | @BatDigest

The long-awaited Marucci CAT 9 was made widely available on 8.31.2020. (Check here to buy it). For 2021, expect the same great barrel with a new alloy and the same AV2 knob found in the CAT 8. The 2021 Marucci CAT 9 comes in BBCOR, USSSA and USA. It’s big barrel and light swing in USSSA will attract a lot of hitters, again. The not too end-loaded BBCOR performs as well as any BBCOR bat on the market, has a loud ping and a great look.

CAT 9

Our hitters like the loud sound, great feel for a single piece, and what feels like a long sweet spot on the 2021 Marucci CAT 9. The bat looks great and doesn’t feel much different (if at all) when compared to the 2020 CAT 8. That isn’t a bad thing, but it does feel a bit like the sam… Jump to the full review.


Quick Review

Our hitters like the loud sound, great feel for a single piece, and what feels like a long sweet spot on the 2021 Marucci CAT 9. The bat looks great and doesn’t feel much different (if at all) when compared to the 2020 CAT 8. That isn’t a bad thing, but it does feel a bit like the same old CAT with a new look and a differently named alloy.

Get Your Own Advice

Huge 9-Year-Olds Bat Choice

Situation:

I have a BIG 9-year-old, who has been playing little league and I am finally allowing to play travel ball in the Spring. He has been practicing with the travel team for the past year. He has a USA Louisville Slugger Prime, 30-inch drop 10. He was hitting in the 80 to 85 mph cages yesterday for the first time, making good contact once he got the hang. He can hit the ball over the fence of a 200 ft little league field. Right now he is 5 ft tall, 115 lb, wears a men’s size 8, has the same size head like me and his hands aren’t far behind.

My goal is to find the best bat for both USA and USSSA so it feels the same for him. I know he needs 2 different certification bats.

~Andrew

Advice:

Andrew,

You sure he’s 9?

🙂

If your goal is to find the best bat for a 9-year-old who is already hitting a USA bat 200+ with a 30/20, then I’m not sure we have any advice that will make that any better. Enjoy it while it lasts. (I also can’t imagine the type of sting that might occur from on a drop 10 with 80+ cage work, but that’s beside the point).

Our only suggestion would be to get a lower drop bat. We’ve found that the sooner kids can get more weight in their bat is when they really start doing damage. We’d suggest a real close look at a bat like a drop 8 CF or Marucci CAT 9 or CAT 9 Connect in USSSA. In USA, look for a drop 5 718 Select. That might sound crazy right now, a 30/25. But, if he can catch up to 80+mph fastballs, he’ll be putting them on the freeway with a drop 5 in Little League.

Hope that helps at least a bit.

Also, any chance we can get an autograph?

Thanks and good luck!

 

CAT 9 vs Bonesaber Swing Weight Confusion?

Situation:

Could you help clear up the confusion? Someone else had asked you a question about the Bonesaber and you answered “we measured the BBCOR 33″ Bonesaber as a 9300 MOI. The average 33″ BBCOR bat swings at 9250. It is safe to say the Bonesaber in BBCOR is just slightly above average in swing weight. That’s considerably lighter than a bat like the CAT 9 but heavier than a bat-like DeMarini’s CF.” However, on your swing weight chart, the 2020 Bonesaber and the 2021 CAT 9 are almost the exact swing weight. I’m trying to decide between these two bats. Do they have similar swing weights?

~Tyler

Advice:

Tyler,

Thanks for the clarifying question. The short answer is it appears we messed up in our answer. The Bonesaber is not considerably heavier than the CAT 9. So, it does swing similarly. We’ve edited that answer.

Here’s what we think happened, not that you’re looking for an excuse, is the CAT 8, and CAT 7 always swung on the heavy side. The CAT 9, however, does not. We were answering a question in our minds, thinking the CAT 9 was on the heavy side. In either case, the word considerable wasn’t accurate, but we think that is what happened. FWIW.

In any event, we’re glad to see people are reading what we’re answering and then having questions of their own!

Rawlings VELO ACP vs Marucci Cat 9

Situation:

Son likes and swings one-piece alloys a lot better than composite bats. As any other dad looking to get him in the best bat that feels right. Was wondering what is the better bat the Marucci Cat 9 or the Rawlings VELO? Have heard some people favor the VELO and wanted to hear what an expert had to say. My son uses a drop 10 28-29 ounce bat.

Thank you in advance for your time.

~Jose

Advice:

Jose,

Our experience with the VELO in the youth space has not been terribly impressive. We think it’s too light to pack a punch. It does sound loud and some parents seem to like that, but we’ve found no correlation between a loud bat and a long hit.

We like the CAT series of bats better than the VELO ACP series in the youth space. It has a bigger barrel and swings with more gumption. Granted, in exit speed tests both are pretty similar. But, we’ve yet to find a player hitting side by side the VELO and Marucci CAT in USSSA or USA that prefers the Velo. It’s either a tie or advantage: CAT 9.

That is our $0.02. Get a 29/19 in a CAT 9 and get him to work

Switching to USSSA big barrel

Situation:

My son is currently playing in a league that requires using a USA or USSSA 2-1/4 barrel max. He has really hit well this season with the 2016 29/18 Easton Mako. In the spring he will be allowed use a USSSA 2-3/4 barrel. I was thinking about getting him the 30/20 Easton Maxum. Is there a bat you would recommend instead? Why?

~Karl

Advice:

Karl,

The Big Barrel USSSA space is dominated by DeMarini’s CF and Marucci’s CAT series of bats. There is a reason for that. They are great in feel, barrel performance and popular demand. Groupthink should never be the only reason to buy a bat. But, there is a law of averages here—and a lot of people give mostly great ratings back to the CF and the CAT in USSSA.

Our guess would be he might not appreciate the single piece feel of the Combat Maxum—although we do love the barrel size on that bat. If he likes the MAKO from 2016 (a legendary bat) then he’ll like the two-piece feel of a bat like the CF and Easton ADV. Hope that helps.

 

CAT 9 Connect vs Rawlings 5150 BBCOR

Situation:

Dear Bat Guy,

My barely 14-year son swings a 2019 Rawlings 5150 BBCOR (32in). I am thinking about purchasing a 2021 Cat 9 Connect BBCOR (32in). Are the bat swing characteristics similar? eg swing weight, exit velocity, etc.

~David

Advice:

David,

Thanks for the question. In terms of swing weight and exit speed, you’ll get a very similar experience between the 5150 and CAT 9 Connect. Both are a bit heavier than average and the BBCOR standard has leveled the playing field insomuch that both have really similar pop.

The biggest difference will be feel. The feel will be so different, in fact, we suspect your son will think they perform differently. It just depends on what he prefers, but most younger hitters will believe that a two-piece bat feels better and, therefore, he hits the CAT 9 Connect better more consistently.

Our general sense is the CAT 9 Connect might be a better fit for your 14-year-old when compared to the 5150 because he will like the feel more. That said, at 14, most hitters like light swinging bats, and the 5150 or CAT 9 Connect don’t fit that bill. We don’t mean to make your question more complicated than it needs to be. But, in the end, we think a light swinging two-piece bat like a Voodoo Balanced (from 2019 or 2020) could be a better fit than either of those. But, if you’ve narrowed it down between the 5150 and the Connect then, without consideration for price, we’d suggest the CAT 9 Connect for a mostly similar experience in swing weight and exit speeds.

Swing Weight and the Bonesaber

Situation:

Dear Bat Guy,

My son is moving to 10U travel ball. Since starting travel ball he has had issues finding a USSSA bat he likes. His rec ball (USA) bat is the Easton ADV1 30/18. He is 4’11” and 85 lbs. I am trying to get him to hit a 30/20 but it seems a little heavy. He has tried a DSB Swag 30/20 and he seems a little slow with it. I’m thinking the weight issue is actually due to bat balance? He does batting practice with a wood 30-inch bat and swings it with no issues. Actually he hits very well with the wooden bat. I have been trying to do a little research on what “feels” more like his wooden bat and I came across the Warstic Bonesaber. Do you have any thoughts on that particular bat or suggestions on a not end loaded/more balanced bat?

Craig

Advice:

Craig,

Love it. Thanks.

To answer your last question first: we measured the BBCOR 33″ Bonesaber as a 9300 MOI. The average 33″ BBCOR bat swings at 9250. It is safe to say the Bonesaber in BBCOR is just slightly above average in swing weight. That’s lighter than a bat like the CAT 8/7 (but not lighter than a bat like the CAT 9) and heavier than a bat-like DeMarini’s CF.

See all our USSSA swing weights (sans the Bonesaber).

Now, your question is about the USSSA version of that bat. Unfortunately, we don’t have that exact model’s swing weight in hand at the moment, but it’s fair to guess that it runs a bit heavier than the average. We think it feels more like the DSB Swag than the ADV1—which is a very, very light swing. As much as we love the Bonesaber in bigger, more substantial sizes, we think it is unlikely to be the right pick for a 10U player that’s had success with an ADV1 and thinks the DSB Swag is a bit endloaded.

Our thought: have you looked at the CAT 9 Connect yet? That 30/20 swings light, feels great and has some incredible exit speeds. However, based on what you’ve said, I might lean towards the 29/19 before the 30/20. Swing weight, as we think you’ve correctly surmised, is the crucial leading factor in choosing the right bat.

If you’re not down for the CAT 9 Connect, then, of course, there is always DeMarini’s CF. The CF is far and away from the most popular bat in that niche. It does have a history of breaking, but it fits that light swing, big barrel, and feels great on the hands. Many swear by its performance, too (we included). That bat, however, isn’t cheap.

If it were us, we’d take a real close look at the CAT 9 Connect and see if we couldn’t get it in a 29/19. If that didn’t feel right for whatever reason, a 30/20 (or even 29/19) CF Glitch would be next on our list.

If you want something less expensive, try and find a 30/20 (or 29/19) Slugger Prime used on eBay to tide you over until you can get more chances to see what is the exact right size for him.

We hope that helps, and thanks for reaching out.

 

 

Be the First to Ask a Question!
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The 2021 CAT 9 in USSSA is a balanced to light swinging big barrel single-piece aluminum bat. Performance-wise, it does well in the space and performs as well as the DeMarini CF, which has dominated the area for years. In BBCOR, the bat swings heavier than most give it credit. We consider the bat with a slight end-load but a colossal barrel, great sound, and top-notch performance.

BBCOR CAT 9 Recommendations
2021 Marucci CAT 9 Review

Those who like the feel of a single piece bat, as well as the durability afforded by a single piece aluminum, might find the CAT 9 to their linking. As well, the bat has a slight end load, so don’t think it’s for the faint of heart. This is not a great first BBCOR bat kind of look. But, for that good to strong Junior or Senior looking to make some noise (both literally and figuratively), this is the bat.

Also, BBCOR bats these days perform about the same. The BBCOR standard keeps barrel performance across brands and models very uniform. This is not a knock on the CAT 9. We love it in BBCOR. But, don’t buy the hype that his BBCOR bat (or any other) is markedly better than another.

Price Check
USSSA CAT 9 Recommendations
2021 Marucci CAT 9 Review

The bat we recommend second, to almost every USSSA player, is the Marucci CAT 9. We love its big barrel, light swing weight, and reasonable feedback on mishits. If you don’t want to spend DeMarini CF kind of money and are okay with a little more feedback on the hands during mishits—especially mishits on the inside of the barrel, then the 2021 Marucci CAT 9 should be high up your list.

Price Check

2021 vs 2019 CAT 9

As we stated above, the 2021 Marucci CAT 9 comes with an upgraded allow when compared to the CAT 8. They changed some things to make it more durable and a bit thinner. Marucci still uses multivariable wall thickness to extend the length of the sweet spot and bring down swing weight. As well, in the BBCOR bats, they added a groove along the length of the barrel to bring down the swing weight even more.

2019

Bat Review

CAT 8

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?)

Price Check

2018

CAT 7

The 2018 Marucci CAT 7 is the same as the 2017 Marucci CAT 7. Marucci doesn't hide this idea. They release their performance bats on a two year cycle.

Price Check

2016

Bat Review

CAT 6

JustBats purchased the exclusive rights to the CAT 6. That is, the updated look on the CAT 6---with the red base and white accents---is a JustBats only bat. The expectation, as far as we understand it, is that such will be the case indefinitely. Making such an arrangement, as far as know, a first.

Price Check

Comparable Bats

The most comparable bat on the market to the CAT 9, we think, is the Warstic Hawk or Slugger’s Solo. We also think the Victus Vandal is a reasonable comparison. All are single-piece aluminum bats with a decent sized barrel. The Solo swings lighter and the Vandal will wring your hands more. Some might also consider the Rawlings VELO as a reasonable comparison. We do not disagree. The Solo, Vandal, and VELO all have variable wall thickness to extend the swing spot of the barrel.

2020 The Goods
See the The Goods Review

2020 DeMarini The Goods Review: Endloaded, Stiff, Big Hitting. We put the 2020 DeMarini The Goods two piece bat in the hands of 3 serious BBCOR ball players. Each found the bat to swing heavy (in a good way), feel great and look fantastic. We also watched many NCAA 2019 College World Series players give it a shot. The bat is a great shift from the Voodoo Insane of 2019 and is clearly built for the big hitter who still likes a two piece hybrid instead of a single piece aluminum. Our Score: 9/10.

Price Check
2018 Voodoo One
See the Voodoo One Review

We have now spent considerable time both in the cage and during games with the 2018 DeMarini Voodoo One balanced.

Price Check
2019 CAT 8 OTM
See the CAT 8 OTM Review

*These are basically sold out at this point.***

For the 2018 holidays, Marucci has released a special colorway on the CAT 8.

Price Check

2021 Marucci CAT 9 Review | We Hit the Legend

White Marucci CAT 9 Dicks Sporting Goods & Marucci History

Dicks Sporting Goods has an exclusive version of the 2021 Marucci CAT 9. It’s a call back to the white edition from years past. It comes in a drop 10, 5, and BBCOR. Note, the drop is not legal for NCAA baseball as they don’t allow white bats. But, it is allowed in high school leagues.

Marucci History

The Marucci CAT 9 has been a long time in the making. Since the CAT 5, the bat has stayed true to its roots, but come a long way too. It still boasts an anti-vibration knob, loud sound, and single-piece feel. Over the years, the barrel size has increased dramatically—implementing variable wall thickness to extend the battel’s usable length and keep the swing weight down. However, the bat still chimes loud on contact, and the anti-vibration knob, now on the third or fourth iteration, still holds to its initial intent: Deliver a single piece feel with a single-piece feel.

Marucci CAT 9 History

CAT 9 vs CAT 9 Connect

Compared to the CAT 9, the CAT 9 Connect uses a composite handle and a connective piece Marucci calls the OLS. Our younger hitters tend to prefer two-piece bats because they feel better on mishits

We took on a particular hitter, a 12-year-old, and hit 60 pitches on the CAT 9 and CAT 9 Connect. They preferred the feel of the CAT 9 Connect. The barrels are no different—both the AZR. The bats have similar swing weights.

The only difference is the feel. You get better hand protection in a Connect than you do in a CAT 9 because that two-piece really dampens the sting in the hands.

Marucci CAT 9

2021 CAT 9 Construction

Marucci has used the same general principles in their CAT line of bats ever since the now illegal Cat 5. That is, they:

  • use a high performing barrel that uses variable wall thickness to create a longer sweet spot.
  • Implant a silicone piece inside the knob of the bat to help dampen sting on mishits (they call this the AV2).
  • Do not use any rings inside the barrel.
  • Focus the bats swing weight towards the knob for a lighter feeling bat.
  • Use a single piece of aluminum to construct the entire bat.

Bat Sizing Options

The 2021 Marucci CAT 9 BBCOR version of the bat comes in a 31, 32, 33, 33.5, and 34-inch length.

The USSSA CAT9 comes in a drop 10, drop 8 and drop 5 in a handful of sizes.

As well, there is a two piece hybrid version of the CAT 9 called the CAT 9 Connect.

8.9
Pop
8.5
Durability
9.1
Feel on Sweet Spot Hits
7.6
Feel on Mishits
8.8
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Rich
Rich
4 months ago

Any update on information regarding the 2020 Cat 9?

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