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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Generally, we think the 2023 Axe Avenge Pro is built for the small to the mid-sized player that likes and plays a lot of baseball. It’s a gap power bat for the base hitting kids. Kids upgrading here as their first performance USSSA bat will find a measurable performance difference in the Axe Avenge Pro. If you’re in the market for a big-time USSSA bat available and in your size, then the 2023 Axe Avenge Pro might be the ticket. There are currently no 2023 USA or BBCOR versions of the bat.
We like the 2023 Axe Avenge Pro a lot. It has a huge barrel, perfectly balanced light swing, fantastic feel on hits and mishits, and, as we measured, sits in the top echelon of performance. Our sense is the bat goes toe to toe against anything you can find (yes, including the CF and META) but comes with a handle that works for younger players.
In terms of a two-piece composite bat with a big barrel and light swing in USSSA, you’ll find bats like the META from Slugger, CF from DeMarini, and CAT Composite from Marucci to be comparable bats. Of course, none of those have the round handle like the Axe and none of those are built for one-sided hitting. Yet, even still, it’s hard to make the case any of the above mentioned bats are certainly superior to one another. If you want to try the Axe handle (and who doesn’t) on a great feeling big barrel bat that competes with the absolute best in the game then take a chance on the Axe Avenge Pro in USSSA.
Compared to the 2022 version of the Axe Avenge Pro, which gets above average ratings with us, the 2023 is a measurable upgrade. You can expect a new connection piece, newly designed carbon fiber, end cap and handle. It’s a considerable overhaul insomuch most companies likely would have changed the name of the bat. In any case, don’t think the 2022 and previous Avenge Pros in USSSA are good replacements for the 2023 version of the bat.
The 2023 Axe Avenge Pro USSSA comes in a drop 5, 8 and 10. It uses a composite handle and barrels to form a bat with a big barrel, light, and really comfortable feel on hits and mishits alike. Of course, the significant difference in an Axe’s construction compared to other bats is its ergonomically shaped ax handle instead of a traditional round knob.
Round vs Oval
More than a couple of bat companies suggest an angled knob with a round handle makes more sense than an angled knob with an oval handle. The argument, they suggest, is since a swing is rotational an oval handle will get your bat off the plane of your swing.
In short, this is a poor argument that uses pseudoscience jargon to try and sell you the Pro XR handle because, in most instances, the Pro XR has a less expensive licensing fee. These wood bat companies want to believe it.
In any case, the rotation point of the bat is in the middle of the cylinder you are swinging, which is actually a straight line. It follows, then, that an oval-shaped knob swings as on plane as any other knob for the same reason that a square knob (think a 2×4) doesn’t have an ‘V-shaped swing path because it’s also not round.
If you don’t believe us, find an oval-shaped knob (the Axe) and compare it to a traditional knob as you rotate around your swing. See if the bat somehow gets off the plane because of the oval knob. It won’t.
In any case, there might be a reason or two to avoid the Axe handle in your life (like a preference) but any inability to keep your bat on a level plane is not one of them.
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.