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August 24, 2020 | by Brian Duryea | @BatDigest
We used HitTrax to compare the 2021 Victus Vandal vs 2021 Marucci CAT 9
The player in this profile preferred the CAT 9. They even liked it before they looked at the results. Although the top end of the CAT 9 appeared to outperform the Victus here (by 2.2 mph) the average aver 10 hits was about equal. However, the player did like the feel of the CAT 9 better—saying it didn’t ring their hands as much. However, its worth noting the Victus Vandal in USSSA does swing lighter than the CAT 9 in the drop 10 30/20.
The player took 30 swings with each bat. After five to ten swings, they switched bats. We measured exit speeds on HitTrax, and this was pitching machine work. We ordered each of the 30 hits by exit velocity. If we isolated the 3rd best hit for each bat, we found the CAT 9 outperformed the Vicuts Vandal by 2.2 mph.
The player that compared the Victus Vandal to the CAT 9 was 11U, 4’10” and weighed 95 pounds. They had a good stroke, were pretty consistent, and play in mostly travel USSSA baseball.
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.
Although the CAT 9 had better top-end speed (at least in this little study), by the time we averaged the top 10 of the 30 hits with each bat, exit speeds had all but equalized. We aren’t sure exactly what that means—maybe the hitter got tired, maybe the hitter got lucky with the CAT, or maybe the CAT 9 has better top-end speed. In any event, by the top 10 hits, there was virtually no difference in bat performance.
The Vicuts Vandal, known for swinging extra light, does have a lighter swing than the 30/20 CAT 9. Do note, this data point is only for the CAT 9 and Victus Vandal in a 30/20. It theory, we’d hope the bats have the same relative swing weight as they change size and drop. That is, we’d hope a 32/24 drop 8 Vandal was about 200 points lighter than the 32/24 CAT 9. However, the industry does not have any uniform swing weight changes across brands and models.
However, it’s a good guess that the Victus Vandal swings a tiny bit lighter than the CAT 9. At least, its better than no guess at all.
We asked the player while hitting what bat they thought felt better. They did prefer the CAT 9. We asked them to rank it on a scale of 1 to 10. They gave the Victus a 7/10 and the CAT 9 an 8/10. These are subjective ratings, but they did prefer the feel of the CAT 9 over the Victus Vandal in USSSA.