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The Goods vs. CAT 9 Connect is a very popular matchup. Both bats swing heavy (although The Goods had a heavier swing weight). Both bats boast a significant following and a lot of hype. Each is a two-piece hybrid bat built for a big hitter. The difference, we thought after hitting, was the CAT 9 Connect was a bit less stiff. That is, you can feel more movement on hits and mishits. The Goods tends to be more rigid, giving more feedback to the hands. Neither is a bad thing, just a preference thing.
In terms of recommendations in The Goods vs. the CAT 9 Connect, it is all but even. You likely can’t go wrong either way. We like how The CAT 9 Connect is less expensive, but we also like how The Goods has slightly better exit speeds in our head to head matchup. As well, we prefer the stiffer feel of The Goods over the Connect—but that’s just our preference.
We hit the ball 30 times, alternating every five to ten swings. Pitches were from a machine and exit speeds are measured by HitTrax.
A difference of 0.4 mph is what we have come to expect in BBCOR comparisons. Meeting the BBCOR standard has been achievable for some time and it’s no surprise to us both Marucci and DeMarini are all but the same. This hitter had 0.4 mph difference which, in our mind, is all but the same.
We had a dad hit the bats because they wanted to know for themselves. They have mid to low 90 mph max exit speeds and do a good job representing a really big high school and future D1 hitter. Results, of course, may vary.
NOTE: We’ve measured thousands of bats over the years. We’ve found, in large measure, bat results are very hitter dependent. Most comparisons we do are very, very close. The 1 or 2 mile per hour difference is hard to attribute only to the barrels performance. We think the hitter determines upwards of 70% of the exit speeds. The other 30% is the bat.
Like the top 3 hits, we averaged the top 10 and found the results to trend close. A 0.6 mph difference is, hit at the perfect angle, a difference of 3 feet. Over the course of a season, for some hitters, a 3-foot difference might be enough of a difference. But, we aren’t sure that’s worth worrying about.
Likely the most significant performance difference between The Goods and The CAT 9 Connect is the swing weight. Both are considered end-loaded (the average 33-inch BBCOR bat has a swing weight of 9250). A difference of 150 points on a 9524 MOI (swing weight) means virtually nothing. Our hitter could not tell the difference between the bats swing weight.
The most significant difference in feel is the stiffness in the bat’s connection. Our hitter rated The Goods as very stiff and the Connect as relatively less rigid. Despite the popular marketing opinions, stiffness does not affect performance. Instead, it only affects feel. The bat and ball interaction are too fast to make the barrels connection rigidity have any real affect on bat performance.
In other words, the stiffness in these handles only determines the perception of performance. The Goods has a stiffer connection than the CAT 9 Connect.