Before we swing it, we wanted to give you guys a run-down on a very interesting new BBCOR bat from Easton, the Easton Z-Core Lock & Load with an adjustable swing weight system. Once we get it in, we will test the Lock & Load and review its performance here.
The new Easton Lock & Load will be a one piece aluminum made with their popular HMX (Hyperlite Matrix) Alloy and Z-core technology. The real cookie is the adjustable swing weight system that will allow the hitter to change the swing weight / MOI (moment of inertia) by swapping out different weights in the end of the bat. From what we understand, the Lock & Load will feature 3 different swing weights: Speed, Balanced and XL. Each bat will come with kit that will include the different weights, a wrench, 2 screws, instructions and a bag to secure everything in. The base bat will essentially be a Z-core Speed with a -3 drop. The balanced weight weighs .5oz/14.2 grams = -2.5 drop and the XL weight weighs 1oz/28.3 grams = -2 drop.
I know what a lot of you are immediately thinking, that this is a gimmick. In the past Easton has always pushed the envelope in regards to innovation. (They deserve credit for that alone!) While we could have a separate debate about Easton’s recent Torq technology (for those of you who don’t know, Torq is Easton’s rotating handle), I can 100% promise you that the concept behind the adjustable swing weight system is absolutely real. I spend a lot of time talking about swing weight and MOI because it can end up making a huge difference in a game of inches, so it’s always worth mentioning. The Easton Z-Core Lock & Load, with its adjustable weights, could be very useful in some situations:
- Teams looking to buy a “team bat” that will work for every type of hitter. From the line drive guy to the power bro who drops bombs.
- When you’re in the middle of a tournament in the dead of August, you’re baking like a toasted cheeser after your second game of the day and slugging Gatorade in the shade, exhausted and trying to fire it back up for game 3. You could drop down a weight or 2 and give yourself a little extra bat speed when your body really needs it. Woof.
- When you’re facing some dude throwing absolute ched (yeah he signed with a perennial top 25 D1 and is getting ready for the draft) and you need a little more bat speed to catch up to the 94 heater on the black. Again, just drop down a weight or 2 and voila.
- The opposite situation of #3: you’re facing a kid throwing meatballs up there and could use the extra weight to power up your swing and add coveted distance to those deep fly balls. All other things remaining the same, more mass behind the ball = further distance.
Here’s the deal, the Lock & Load is BBCOR approved for high school with the use of all weights. For the NCAA, the bat is approved for play WITHOUT any weights, which ultimately = a Z-core Speed. This means that the the NCAA still hasn’t changed their stance on additional adjustable components which have the potential of flying out in the field.
I’m not an Easton sales rep, but I wanted to explain all of the potential positives that a concept like this could provide. I’ve said it before, adjustability like this is what the future of bats may look like. Add in the custom element and you have some cool things coming on the horizon.
The Lock & Load will retail for $279.99, which is less than I anticipated. Easton has made the Lock & Load available for pre-order on their site right here: Easton Z-core Lock & Load Pre-Order. If you pre-order, you’ll receive it on 6/16/2017.
Sizes Available: 31″/28oz+, 32″/29oz+, 33″/30oz+