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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Our 2020 Victus Vandal review comes after hitting with the bat more than 200 times with 3 different hitters. In short, the 2020 Vandal’s inner barrel design and exit speeds make it a legit single piece aluminum bat with a premium price, great look and reasonable enough performance to serve the serious hitter. The barrel size is good but not functionally bigger than other comparable bats like the Solo. We think the 2020 Victus Vandal price is more than its performance and design deserves but, not more than it’s vibe and unique Victus brand should get.
Big hitters like single piece bats as they transfer all the power to the ball. Small hitters like light swinging bats as it allows them to generate as much bat speed as possible and increase their chances of find the ball. Our hitters like single piece aluminum bats in the BBCOR space for their soul crushing power.
While the light swing doesn’t help any when it comes to hand sting it does allow a hitter to size up an inch for more plate coverage with the same swing weight they might get out of a balanced or heavier winging shorter bat.
Single piece aluminum bats with performance level barrels and extended composite end caps attract both the big hitter who wants another inch in his BBCOR bat and the smaller more base hitting type that’s looking for more exit speed. Although its still quite early in its lifespan, and we like to see more general hitting reviews aside from our own experience come back, we think the Vandal will compete well with bats like the Rawlings Velo, Slugger Solo and Easton Fuze. Each of those are extended composite end cap bats that attempt to make a light swing and a big barrel.
That said, it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between the performance of BBCOR bats in the aluminum space as several companies can get real close to the limit. We think Victus will be successful with the Vandal as their presence in the MLB space is remarkable (#2 last time we checked). But, in terms of it blowing us and the market away with its new found performance we aren’t holding our breath.
Although the Vandal is new, the idea of a single piece aluminum with an extended composite end cap that is accentuated by some thinning of certain parts of the barrel well, there are others. In particular, Rawling’s VELO ACP for 2020 is a real similar bat to the Victus Vandal. It has the extended composite end cap as well as grooves in the barrel to make its sweet spot longer. Both Slugger’s Solo and Easton’s Fuze us an extended composite end cap to lighten the swing and extend the barrel size—although neither of them use any wall thinning to extend the barrel size and, at least in theory, increase the sweet spot size.
Of course, too, there is Marucci’s CAT line of bats. Marucci uses a very similar wall thinning technique as the Vandal (surely they worked together on this since Marucci owns Victus) but the CAT 8 line of bats (or any previous) do not have an extended composite end cap. If you want to go Old School, there is an older Boombah Cannon floating around that uses an extended composite end cap and an aluminum barrel with different thicknesses—almost exactly like the Vandal.
The 2020 Victus Vandal is, at its core, a single piece aluminum bat. It is a metal handle and barrel made out of the same material. Inside that barrel the walls have different levels of thickness. In theory at least, this extends the length of the sweet spot as making the areas outside of the middle just as springy as the middle of the barrel. To help lower the swing weight, the Victus Vandal extends the length of the end cap, which is made of composite (aka plastic). This strategy, used by other bats on the market too, remove metal end cap weight and replace it with light composite. As such, you get a light swinging single piece aluminum bat with an extended composite end cap.
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.