Great thread. Helpful b/c experiences from HS players at all stages and points of development is helpful, potentially cost saving, and FUN. Goes that extra step beyond what the batbros do. Will can prob swing ANY bat and hit "nukes". Not all our boys will get to 6" or 200# +, esp as freshmen.
Kiddo is 5'10" and 140. Good contact hitter, starting to drive the ball to warning track for more power. Exit velocity mid 80s
He swings a Stinger Missile 2 32". It is (stupid) LIGHT and whippy. Nice taper to knob. ***TRULY MEASURES AS 32"*** (More on this below)
Pros. As above, & It IS HOT and has proven to be durable, and is relatively inexpensive.
CONS: Smallish barrel with MICROSCOPIC "sweet spot". WELL DESERVED "Stinger" name in that it STINGS both hands BADLY on anything BUT the microscopic sweet spot. Son has been gaming this bat for past 9mo, as it's HOT even on mishits, but it's seemingly too punishing on the hands for anything more than 3 rounds of BP, which is a limiting factor. It seems to be very similar to the new BONESABER at a better price point. Subjectivity matters here though. The Missile sounds oddly like a wood bat. Sometimes it sounds "dead". Some like this, some don't. Like others, waiting to see what the consensus is on the new Bonesaber HYBRID, as theoretically it should be less punishing to the hands.
To re-echo others comments on the '20/'21 Voodoo One, son's other fav bat. No stinging issues. GREAT bat.
Pros: Hot, whippy, light, & easy on hands. Truly a great overall bat. He has two '21s, a "32" and "33". The 32" has seen ALOT of use with no issues. The knob and end cap are both still there. He also obviously isn't and wasn't a hulk using it either. But a few teammates of similar size HAVE broken the newer Voodoo Ones (knob).
The BIGGER issue here for us that I've never seen mentioned is that it measures as a 32" all the way to the END of the TALL endcap. The end cap protrudes seemingly at least 0.5" (no havent measured it exactly but it's noticeable). If you measure it to the end of the *alloy* it's more like a 31.5". For a given size (you think you're getting), balls seemingly can get hit off the endcap more often, which in turn may cause more endcap issues. If you go up a size to compensate, bat doesn't feel as light. Hence, going back to the Stinger Missile. Kiddo will likely swing the '21 "33" Voodoo this season, but again, it's more like a 32.5", which is the perfect length for him now. Otherwise, unless it breaks prematurely, NO CONS, other than cost I guess.
Son demo'd the Atlas, but it didn't feel as whippy, and seemingly affected his swing and quality of contact. To him, it was weighted oddly. The Atlas has a large knob with little taper to it from the handle. Wondering if adding a taper or taking the rubber taper off the 32" Voodoo One or Missile will remedy the bat's feel. The cost and overwhelmingly positive feedback merit trying to find a way to make this bat work. I don't like absolutes, but we've had many Louisville bats over the years, and they were all seemingly GREAT. Lots of pop and durability.
Had bad experience with knob breaking off Cat 8 USSSA back in the day at the 13 month mark, so not a fan of Marucci even tho Cat X looks nice. Totally undertsand vitriol toward Demarini these days. We just got lucky with the '21s
Just our .02. Hope this helps someone...