Easton is a premier supplier of baseball bats for players at all levels and leagues. Easton’s name carries the same weight and prestige for aluminum bats as Louisville Slugger’s does in the wooden baseball bat industry.
With more years (over 30) in the business than most of their competitors, Easton has put more time and research into their products and each year they continue to push the innovation and masterful engineering of their bats to deliver some of the best sticks on the marketplace.
Easton’s Speed (S) series is an incredibly successful product line that has been in the company’s Power Brigade arsenal for years.
Thanks to this seniority, it has spent quite some time in Easton’s laboratory being carefully altered and improved each year.
The 2016 Easton S3 is the newest successor to the line and aims to build upon the features that consumer’s felt missed the mark in previous years. It is available in youth, junior big barrel and big barrel (senior).
Easton S3 Overview
The S3 has always been a one-piece bat, which hitters feel delivers a stiffer feel and superior swing control compared to composite bats. It boils down to preference; if you are a hitter who prefers a composite bat, the S3 may not be for you.
The ultra-light aluminum alloy of the S3 makes it a very, very lightweight baseball bat and an ideal choice for smaller players or those who want to improve their bat speed.
In past years, the S3, while being ultra-light, had a very tiny “sweet spot.” The sweet spot of the bat is where hitters look to make contact and drive the ball the furthest.
Since the old S3’s sweet spot was so small, consumers found it hard to find and repeatedly take advantage of at the plate. The fix? HMX Hyperlite Matrix Aluminum.
This specially engineered alloy delivers an expanded sweet spot and actually improves the overall durability of the bat.
All variations of the Easton S3 include a HYPERSKIN Grip, balanced swing weight and low moment-of-inertia (MOI) rating.
The HYPERSKIN grip covers the thin 29/32-inch handle and helps prevent the player’s hands from drifting during a swing of the bat.
The science behind a balanced swing weight and low MOI rating is difficult to explain thoroughly. Their main benefit is a higher swing speed and superior bat control, but you sacrifice power.
In other words, a long light bat is faster, but creates less inertia, while a short and heavy bat is slower, but has more inertia behind each swing.
While less power may seem like a total turnoff at first, consider that a quicker bat speed allows you to wait an extra couple of milliseconds before committing to a pitch.
This allows you to better interpret the path of the ball to decide where it will end up as it crosses the plate (especially helpful if you are having trouble with the curveball) and then make good contact.
2016 Easton S3 Youth Baseball Bat
The barrel diameter for the youth version of the S3 is 2.25 inches. If you are looking for a bat with a wider barrel, the Junior Big Barrel version may be more appropriate; its barrel is a half-inch fatter.
However, only the Easton S3 Youth baseball bat has been approved by all of the top youth leagues (Little League, Babe Ruth, Dixie, etc.) The Junior Big Barrel does not meet some leagues’ rules and guidelines and may not always be usable.
Easton’s S3 Youth has a -13 drop weight, which is measured by calculating the difference between the length and weight of the bat (for example, a 30-inch Youth S3 will weigh 17 ounces). Even for youth leagues, a -13 length-to-weight ratio is light.
Again, the S3 is a bat with contact hitting in mind. It does not generate a lot of power, but if your son or daughter is struggling to make contact at all, it may help remedy their problems.
2016 Easton S3 Junior Big Barrel Baseball Bat
As mentioned before, the Junior Big Barrel has a barrel diameter of 2.75 inches. Due to the widened barrel, its walls are actually thinner than a small barrel bat. This allows balls to explode off the sweet spot with increased effect.
Couple this with a -10 drop ratio and you have a junior baseball bat with some serious spring. Compared to the S3 Youth, the Junior Big Barrel produces more power.
Check with your local league rules to ensure that they allow big-barreled bats before purchasing.
2016 Easton S3 Senior Big Barrel Baseball Bat
The Hyperlite Matrix alloy expands the sweet spot and benefits from the wider barrel of the S3 Senior Big Barrel baseball bat.
Although its -10 drop ration maintains its status as a contact hitter’s bat, the combination offers a bat with an increased trampoline effect.
You will enjoy how quickly the ball scorches into play straight past infielders. The low length-to-weight rating makes it ideal for smaller hitters who need a lighter, faster bat.
2014 Easton S3 BBCOR Baseball Bat
Easton has not made a BBCOR-style baseball bat in the S3 series since 2014. BBCOR bats are designed to regulate how much energy is transferred upon contact and aim to actually slow the ball down as it leaves the bat. This helps protect the pitcher from dangerous line drives in college and high school leagues.
Easton’s 2014 S3 BBCOR bat is still available by most sporting good suppliers. It has a 2.625-inch barrel and the same one-piece construction. However, it has Scandium alloy, instead of the Hyperlite Matrix.
The 2014 S3’s were not very successful because consumers found the sweet spot to be too small.
Pros of the S3 Series
- Expanded sweet spot thanks to the Hyperlite Matrix alloy
- Great grip on the bat handle for superior swing control
- Big Barrel versions have excellent trampoline effect
- Low MOI and drop weight ratings increase bat speed
Cons of the S3 Series
- Newest editions have not included a BBCOR-style baseball bat
- Does not suit the needs of a power hitter or someone who prefers composite bats
- Only available with drop weights of -13 (youth) or -10 (junior and senior)