Is the CAT 9 Connect Bat Really End Loaded or Balanced? A Detailed Breakdown


Baseball and softball bats come in two main designs – end-loaded and balanced. End-loaded bats concentrate more weight at the end of the barrel, giving them a heavier swing weight that generates more power. Balanced bats distribute weight evenly throughout the length of the bat for a lighter swing and quicker bat speed.

For young hitters especially, swing weight and overall feel of the bat is crucial. Having a bat that is balanced for their current size and strength level allows them to swing faster and have better control. As players get older and stronger, some make the switch to end-loaded bats to generate more power.

The CAT 9 Connect bat from Marucci is one of the latest youth bat models that combines performance with a balanced swing weight. It aims to provide a lightweight feel and quick swing speed while still offering pop and distance.

Weight Distribution

The weight distribution of a baseball bat refers to how the bat’s weight is distributed throughout its length. There are two main types of weight distribution – end-loaded and balanced.

End-loaded bats concentrate more weight towards the end of the barrel, near the sweet spot. This gives end-loaded bats more power potential, since there is more mass behind the ball at contact. However, end-loaded bats also tend to have less control and bat speed compared to balanced bats (Source).

In contrast, balanced bats distribute weight evenly throughout the entire length of the bat. This even weight distribution allows balanced bats to have quicker swing speeds and more control. However, balanced bats generally don’t hit for as much power as end-loaded bats. The even weight distribution means there is less mass behind the ball at contact (Source).

So in summary, end-loaded bats provide more power while balanced bats provide more control and bat speed. The choice between end-loaded and balanced often depends on the hitter’s strength and preference for power versus control.

CAT 9 Connect Design

The CAT 9 Connect features CAT’s Dual-Zone Wall Thickness technology, which strategically removes mass from low stress areas and redistributes it to high stress regions of the barrel. This allows for a light swing weight while maintaining durability exactly where it’s needed most.

The bat uses CAT’s patented AZR alloy, which is a strengthened aluminum alloy that allows for a thinner barrel wall and greater performance. The barrel has a ring-free multi-variable wall design that optimizes the flex and trampoline effect.

The CAT 9 Connect has a two-piece hybrid construction, with a carbon composite handle connected to an aluminum alloy barrel using CAT’s Outer Locking System (OLS). This connection piece allows for great feel and vibration dampening.

According to, the bat is crafted for ultimate power and an end-loaded feel. The combination of the carbon handle and thermally treated AZR aluminum alloy barrel aims to provide the ultimate in bat speed and huge pop.

Swing Weight

Swing weight is a measure of how heavy a bat feels when swinging. It is calculated based on the bat’s overall weight, length, and balance point. Generally, a higher swing weight means the bat will feel heavier when swinging.

The 2021 Marucci CAT 9 Connect has a swing weight ranging from 9450 to 9550, depending on the length and weight configuration. According to Bat Digest, the average 33-inch BBCOR CAT 9 Connect has a swing weight around 9524. This makes it an end-loaded bat that will feel slightly heavier when swung compared to a more balanced bat with a lower swing weight.

The heavy swing weight suits power hitters looking for maximum bat speed and more momentum through the hitting zone. However, some contact and speed hitters may prefer a more balanced swing weight for quicker handling.


The MARUCCI CAT 9 Connect is known for its excellent hitting performance and balance. Many players praise the bat for its big sweet spot and power on contact. According to Bat Digest’s review, the CAT 9 Connect “swings great, has a fantastic balance, and hits the ball as hard (or harder) than any other USSSA drop 8 on the market.”

Feedback from players indicates the CAT 9 Connect has a very balanced swing weight despite being primarily end-loaded. The multi-variable wall design contributes to a massive sweet spot while reducing vibration and sting on mishits. As a result, the bat consistently drives balls with power while maintaining excellent control.

Overall, players of all skill levels praise the CAT 9 Connect’s performance and agree it is among the best USSSA bats for optimizing swing speed and power transfer. The bat suits a wide variety of hitters thanks to its balance and pop.


The retail price range for the Marucci CAT 9 Connect bat is typically $179 to $379 depending on the size and drop weight configuration, according to Marucci’s website and Dick’s Sporting Goods. For example, a CAT 9 Connect drop 5 typically retails around $299 while a CAT 9 Connect drop 8 is priced around $149.

Compared to other premium aluminum alloy bats like the DeMarini Voodoo, Easton ADV 360, Louisville Slugger Meta, and Rawlings Quatro Pro, the CAT 9 Connect is very competitively priced. Most other bats in this performance class retail between $300-500 for a single model while the CAT 9 Connect offers excellent performance at a more budget-friendly price point.


Some other comparable balanced USSSA bats include:

The DeMarini Zoa is another highly rated USSSA balanced bat that features DeMarini’s Paraflex Plus Composite and 3Fusion Handle System. It comes in a drop 11 length to weight ratio and is approved for USSSA play. The Zoa has a slightly smaller barrel and lower swing weight compared to the CAT 9 Connect.

The Marucci AP5 is a single piece alloy bat with a balanced swing weight. It utilizes Marucci’s Anti-Vibration Knob technology and ring-free barrel construction for improved feel. The AP5 has a drop 10 length to weight ratio, is USSSA 1.15 BPF certified, and comes in a range of sizes.

The Verdict

Based on an analysis of the CAT 9 Connect’s design, swing weight, performance, and price, it can be concluded that this driver is a balanced club, not end-loaded.

The key evidence supporting this is:

  • The CAT 9 Connect has a neutral CG (center of gravity) location, neither too far back or too far forward, indicating balance.
  • The swing weight is D3, right in the middle of the typical range for drivers, also suggesting balance.
  • The consistent launch, forgiveness, and distance across the face in reviews indicate balance, not end-loading.
  • The price point is moderate, not upcharged like many end-loaded drivers.

Based on these factors, the CAT 9 Connect can confidently be classified as a balanced driver, not end-loaded.


The CAT 9 Connect is best suited for power hitters due to its end-loaded swing weight. The weighted end cap allows players to generate more bat speed and hit for power. However, the end-loaded design may be difficult for contact hitters to control.

Make sure the CAT 9 Connect matches your swing style and tendencies as a hitter. End-loaded bats require strong mechanics and the ability to control the bat head throughout the swing plane. Contact hitters lacking bat speed and power should consider a balanced model instead.

Before purchasing the CAT 9 Connect, honestly evaluate your strengths at the plate. An end-loaded bat like this can maximize home run potential but also lead to more swing and misses if not properly matched to your abilities.


The Callaway CAT 9 Connect driver is designed for low swing weight and a balanced feel to help promote an effortless, powerful swing. Modern design features like the Forged Ring Jailbreak, Flash Face, and Speed Ramp aim to deliver high ball speeds and distance even on off-center hits.

While the CAT 9 Connect does have adjustable weights, the stock configuration is a neutral/balanced weight distribution rather than being end-loaded. This gives it a lighter overall feel that encourages faster swing speed. The weight savings also let Callaway position the CG low and deep for high launch and low spin.

Overall, the CAT 9 Connect lives up to its billing as a speed-focused driver aimed at a broad range of players seeking effortless distance. The combination of lightweight design, Jailbreak technology, and Flash Face give it the performance to rival other top drivers. If you’re looking for a balanced, forgiving driver with all the latest tech, the CAT 9 Connect deserves a long look.

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