In late 2020 the Victus Nox BBCOR was released and it instantly became one of our best selling BBCOR bats. Now, a few weeks later, the Marucci Cat 9 BBCOR bat is here – naturally we decided to take the two bats and swing them side by side so we could offer you a Cat 9 versus Nox BBCOR comparison.
The Victus NOX does not have a fancy harmonic dampening knob, but the NOX is a two-piece bat, and the composite handle mixed with exclusive and innovative “2 Smooth” connection handle piece. The Victus NOX, like the Cat 9 gives you no vibration in the hands.
Grip – The Marucci Cat 9 BBCOR does have a noticeably thicker and “squishier” grip. We think this also helps kill vibration. FYI, the Marucci grip is so good we do not recommend upgrading to a Lizard Skin.
The Nox is noticeably heavier swinging than the Cat 9 BBCOR. While the Nox is a phenomenal bat, we suspect the Cat 9 will sell better in the BBCOR bat market due to the easy swingability.
If you’re swinging a 32/39 or smaller my quick assessment is get the Cat 9. If you swing a 33/30 or larger you are likely strong enough to get the more end loaded Nox around and through the hitting zone.
Both of these bats do not use rings in the barrel (which DeMarini and Louisville Slugger have used on bats like The Goods). Rings are bad. It’s a lazy way to make a bat pass the BBCOR bat standard test. These rings inside the barrel kill performance and create dead spots in the barrel.
Both of these bats have variable wall technology in the barrel. This means a 3D lathe makes special cuts and grooves on the inside of the barrel in order to remove material where it’s not needed. Thinner walls mean better performance – and don’t think they are sacrificing durability either – the barrel is only thinned out where it does not affect durability, so you get the best of both worlds.
The Cat 9 does have one piece of technology in the metal barrel that the NOX does not have. The Cat 9 BBCOR has grooves cut out that go from top to bottom (of the barrel). Marucci says this adds to the performance and barrel flex of the Cat 9 on contact. Barrel flex is a good thing. Think of the bat barrel as a trampoline – more flex equals more pop off the barrel.
Which one should I buy?
After hitting both of these baseball bats for about an hour, we can for sure say that overall, these two bats are both outstanding performers.
I would recommend the NOX BBCOR for stronger players who can benefit from the added mass near the barrel.
I recommend the Marucci Cat 9 BBCOR be used by everyone else.
I think anyone could be successful with the Cat 9, but the Victus Nox is not the best choice for, say, a line drive type hitter.