The new Marucci Cat 9 baseball bats are made with the all new, exclusive AZR Aluminum alloy – which Marucci says is the highest grade aluminum ever put into a baseball bat. The Cat 8 uses the AZ105 Aluminum alloy, which is still an ultra high performance material for bats. The new AZR alloy is supposed to be lighter, stronger, more durable, and ultimately give a better feeling on contact, and farther hit baseballs.
The other major difference (for the Cat 9 BBCOR model only) is the Cat 9 BBCOR has grooves carved into the barrel of the bat on the inside, these grooves run a horizontal (knob to end cap) direction across the sweet spot of the bat and make the walls thinner, more responsive, and overall perform better by increasing the size of the sweet spot.
What is the difference in performance between the Cat 8 and Cat 9? We hit both of the Marucci BBCOR bats side by side and we could tell the Cat 9 felt more refined for sure. The Cat 8 BBCOR, while excellent, had a little bit of felt vibration in the hands – not much, but we could tell it was there. They both hit the ball well, but the extra teeny tiny bit of end load on the Cat 9 helped us hit baseballs a little farther. The Cat 9 BBCOR also had literally no sting or vibration in the hands.
We constantly hitting all of the new bats at our 20 batting cage facility in Anaheim, CA and will continue to hit these new and exciting bats. Also, don’t forget there is a BBCOR Cat 9 Connect coming later this year, and for USSSA we will see a Cat 9 Composite in Fall 2020.