Quite possibly the most talked about new bat to arrive this season, Combat has released what is being promoted as one of the most balanced swinging bats with the longest barrel and best performance of any BB/SL bat out there. Does it live up to the hype… got a chance to put one to use, and here’s what we found.
Very cool looking bat, and a departure from the all/mostly black Combat Portent models before it. The bat is white (really stands out) with blue logos, and uses different colors for the graphics, endcap, and grip depending on the model/drop weight (our -5 used orange, very similar to the orange used on the 2014 Wanted SL/BB bat). Consensus of our hitters, was that the graphics redesign was a success and really made the Maxum stand out from other bats (including previous model Combats).
Weight tested was a 30/25 (-5). Actual weight… 24.9 oz.
Incredibly balanced bat, and likely the easiest swinging -5 any of our hitters have swung to date. This would be the best choice for a -5 transition gameday bat that I’ve ever come across, and was the first -5 that several of our better 12U took to the plate on tournament day AB’s.
Profile is very unique, with the barrel running pretty much all the way down to the taper. If you’re looking for a gameday bat that gives you the most chance of getting the barrel on the ball (even if you get jammed in on the hands), this is it.
Combat moved to Lizard Skins grips with their 2015 bats, and have the same on the Maxum. The grips are color coded according to model/drop weight, and our -5 uses orange with matching endcap and graphics. Lizard Skins are by far the most popular grips among my hitters, and now that Combats come with them from the factory it saves the $10-$12 and effort to put one on yourself. There is no flare at the knob, but a knob cuff quickly and easily takes care of that if desired.
Hard to figure out where to start. To give you an idea of how the ball comes off this bat, after having only pulled it out of the wrapper the afternoon before, we gamed it in a tournament and the opposing coach in our first game sent blue over to check the bat for stamps after we put up 5 runs off his best pitcher in the first inning. The ball absolutely flies off this bat, it has a very unique ‘crack’ on impact (composite material/weave feels harder/tighter than previous Combats we’ve swung), and the very long barrel allows hitters to maximize hits on inside pitches when keeping their hands in. The consensus is that the Maxum is as hot/hotter out of the wrapper, than any other fully broken in composite bat we’ve swung (including previous Combat models).
Several hundred hits on ours, and nothing more than the expected ball marks and scrapes from use. While some may question the use of white paint on a bat, the white finish is holding up extremely well and it’s possible that much like a white vs. black car, the white paint on this bat helps cover up some of the normal scratches and scrapes.
To put it bluntly, several of our hitter said this was the best/hottest bat they’ve ever swung. With it’s balanced swing weight, accurate actual weigh, and extremely long barrel, I believe this is the best transition gameday bat out there bar none. We had several hitters who have been working with -5’s in the cage and their work who were on the fence about bringing a -5 to the plate on gameday, who confidently and successfully transitioned to the -5 Maxum. Nice to see a hyped new bat that actually brings something to the table for the hitters that swing it, and doesn’t just rely on a big advertising budget.
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