We hit the 2021 Marucci CAT 9 Connect in both BBCOR and USSSA drop 5, 8, and 10. In short, we love it. We think it’s a fantastic bat with a reasonable end load in both lines. The connection is less stiff when compared to other hybrid bats, but we preferred that. Our hitters especially liked the USSSA Drop 10 and believe it will be one of the best in that space for 2020. The only thing the line is lacking a USA version. Otherwise, there’s nothing we’d change.
CAT 9 Connect Video
2021 CAT 9 Connect Models
Our hitters liked the less stiff connection on the 2021 Marucci CAT 9 Connect. Most two-piece hybrid bats with an end load try and make the connection as rigid as possible. The hitters who want a smoother feel, as you’d find in a two-piece composite, really liked the CAT 9 Connects feel. As well, we went head to head on several other bats, and the hitters liked their exit speeds.
In BBCOR, the CAT 9 Connect is an end-loaded bat. Those looking for a lot of weight will like it. Those who are not, won’t. In USSSA, the CAT 9 Connect swings just a bit heavier than the CAT 9–but both should be considered between balanced, or middle of the road swing weight bats.
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The CAT 9 Connect has serious competition in The Goods and the NOX. As well, Easton makes a Hybrid Fuze, and Slugger makes the Select PWR. All compete well with each other and have very similar exit speeds.
The 2019 Marucci CAT 8 Connect was also an end-loaded two-piece hybrid bat built with the big hitter in mind. For 2021, a drop 10 and 8 to complement the Drop 5 Connect from 2019 are great additions.
The BBCOR version has an upgraded barrel that uses horizontal grooves to help lower the swing weight, improve durability, and expand the sweet spot. In practice, it all means about the same as the CAT 8. But that isn’t a bad thing. And it is good to see Marucci not get complacent and continue to make the bat better–even if it is only marginally.
The 2021 Marucci CAT 9 uses variable wall thickness to extend the length of the usable barrel and lower the swing weight. As well, in the BBCOR version, there are grooves along the length of the barrel that bring down the swing weight.
Unlike the CAT 9, the CAT 9 Connect dampens sting by removing vibrations in the connection piece. The CAT does it in the knob.