Welcome back. This time I want to move onto the next category, the Mid Defined. If you didn’t watch the explanation video, please check that out. In short, the Mid Defined category is a step down from the Strong Defined category. The short version is when you still want angular motion but need more length, you pick up a Mid Defined ball out of the bag. You’ve probably watched some of the other favs videos by now but in this one, I have a clear 1-5 order of balls. Some of the factors are availability and most current pieces but these balls are all great pieces of which do have some nuances for selection. These are my favorites for 2019-2020.
#5 Columbia Savage Life
I’ll start with the #5 ball, the Columbia Savage Life. In my mind this was one of the best pearl asyms the EBI offered in a while. But more importantly, in the Mid Defined category. You saw this ball a lot on TV as well. Good length and an angular move downlane. It is a touch cleaner than I want which just means it theoretically can border between Mid Defined and Mid Late categories. So it’s #5 and not higher for 2 reasons. First is that for me personally I want a ball to squarely fit in a category to make creating an arsenal easy. Second is that with the Brunswick acquisition, this ball is likely phasing out.
#4 Storm Astro Physix
And that takes us to #4. Here we have the Storm Astro Physix. This is just about the quintessential skid/flip ball. I do love the core. My biggest concern with this ball is the use of R2S. And similar to my concern with the Savage Life, the Astro Physix has the same fate. The medium cover strength makes this one border between the Mid Defined and Mid Late categories. From the left side, I want less skid/flip and a bit stronger cover for this category. It’s still a great ball hence making my top 5.
#3 Storm Phaze III
Moving onto #3 is the very popular Phaze III. This ball has received huge market hype and much of it is deserved. This is a quintessential long and strong ball reaction. The ball gets down lane very easily and the core can shape almost like a strong asym. So why #3? Well you have to be in my shoes. A lefty rarely needs this much skid/flip. Too clean and too sharp. Of course with all of these balls I can adjust surface. However, while I do like the R3S cover in a few incarnations, I found that with the R3S hybrid in particular, a little surface changed the base characteristics a bit too much for me. So out of box it’s straddles the Mid Defined and Mid Late. With surface, it almost turns it into Mid Control. This is too confusing in my opinion which for me keeps it out of the top 2 spots.
#2 Hammer Black Widow Pink
Now we are getting into the balls I can truly and easily put in my bag for this slot. The #2 ball is the Hammer Black Widow Pink. This is another old EBI ball that will likely need to be reincarnated by Brunswick in the future. You probably have a limited time to find one as stock dwindles. But while other balls so far have been quintessential skid/flip, for me this is more the quintessential Mid Defined ball. It uses a strong pearl cover with a strong core that is capable of big motion. What makes this ball better for me than the previous 3 is it doesn’t go quite as long before it reads and that makes all the difference in the world. It is very versatile and can be adjusted within it’s range, keeping it in the same category.
#1 Roto Grip Nuclear Cell
Finally we’ve reached #1 and for me that is the Roto Grip Nuclear Cell. The Nucleus core has continued to be a staple for Roto Grip just like the Gas Mask has been for Hammer. It just works. There is a clear ball motion difference between this ball and the Pink. However, they both squarely fit in this Mid Defined Category. The Nuclear cover is an even stronger pearl but it doesn’t take away from its ability to still almost go sideways off the end of the pattern. And while you might say, I thought you don’t like sideways, that’s true. However the Cell core is a heavy rolling core. So that heavy roll balances that hard cover response to lead to a very understandable motion and it kind of makes it somehow magical.
We’ve talked a lot about loving pearl asyms and that is fundamentally because Mid Defined balls tend to work well on house shots and are versatile. These 5 balls can fit in your bag in this slot depending on the type of bowler you are. For my game, the last 2 balls are very clear head and shoulders above the others in this category and I could live with either one easily.
Thanks for watching and don’t forget to check out my other favorites for 2019-2020.