2020
Marucci
CAT, CAT Connect
1

2020 Marucci CAT USA Review

Marucci’s CAT USA is a single-piece bat with a balanced swing, a big barrel, and tech in the knob to help dampen stings. It is one of our favorite USA bats that we awarded the platinum seal for 2020. Most hitters love it for the big barrel, great sound, and hot ball flight if you can square one up. In the USA space, we tend towards aluminum barrels (at least in the early years) and the CAT 8 fits the bill nicely. After watching the USA bat play out over the last 2 years, Marucci releases a much anticipated 2020 Marucci CAT.


CAT, CAT Connect Video

2020 CAT, CAT Connect Models

Models Overview

The 2020 Marucci CAT comes with all the same features and elements as the very loved CAT 8 USSSA. That is, the AV2 anti-vibration knob, the perforated grip, the single-piece proprietary aluminum are all the same. The only difference is the USA bat uses only 7 wall thicknesses while the USSSA and BBCOR CAT 8’s use 8.

Our hunch here is the 7 levels of thickness are due to USA’s restriction on performance. This also likely explains the 2 1/2 max barrel instead of a 2 5/8. (Although what is a 1/8 inch?).

**A Note on the 2 1/2 barrel. Most vendor sites are listing it as a 2 5/8 barrel. They aren’t right. Marucci marketing slicks show it at a 2 1/2 and we’ve confirmed this with Marucci. We don’t think it matters much—the USA standard restriction is a considerable change and there are more than a few USA bats that are claimed to be 2 5/8 that don’t quite ever make it there.


General Recommendations

In terms of customer satisfaction, no bat has better ratings than Marucci’s CAT line. Of course, it is very early in the life of the USA version of the bat so the jury is still out. But, in terms of the right price point on a big barreled single-piece USA Bat? Expect big things here.

Reviews By Model

Comparable Bats

There are atleast a half dozen single piece aluminum bats in the USA performance bat space. The most popular would be Slugger’s 619 Solo followed by Rawling’s 5150. But, to Marucci’s point, neither of those competing bats have the same knob technology. Marucci has also done a terrific job of building an alloy that sounds good and has convinced a lot of people it is the best performing metal on the market today. We don’t think the 2 1/2 inch barrel instead of the 2 5/8 max will make much of a difference for many.

Previous Bats

This is the first year of the Marucci CAT. In fact, this is the first time Marucci has made anything in a USA Standard. As such, there is not much to compare it to in terms of how it has progressed. That said, there are plenty of improvements in the USA version of the bat which we’ve seen progress through the CAT line over the years.

The improvements to the AV2 knob, as well as the increase in barrel size due to the added layer depths, are products of improving on the BBCOR and USSSA versions of the bat. The USA Marucci CAT is a product, in some measure, of the things Marucci learned while improving the CAT 5, CAT 6 and CAT 7.

Construction

In short, the USA version of the bat is a drop 10 2 1/2 inch barreled USA bat made from a single piece of aluminum. The knob uses some technology that made Marucci, in some measure at least, famous. People love the feel of Marucci CAT line bats and that knob plays a significant part of that.

As well, the bat uses the same alloy found in the CAT 8 USSSA and BBCOR. The barrel has multi-wall thickness—which allows for an expanded sweet spot. Multiple thickness in the aluminum barrel walls is not uncommon in the industry. The Rawlings Velo, for example, does a similar thing. Such an approach expands the sweetspot of the bat while keeping the weight down.

There are two tee ball versions of the bat which come with a 2 5/8 (drop 11) and a drop 2 1/4 (drop 12) barrel size. The USA Marucci CAT 8 tee ball bat does come with the AV2 knob as well as the same material and grip as the USA version of the Marucci CAT.

Our Parting Pitch

Cat – Senior League -10

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 a 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 a balanced feel for precision and control.

One-piece alloy construction provides a clean, consistent, traditional swing.

Micro-perforated soft-touch grip with extra tack improves feel and control.