With more information, the intro to Slugger’s 2015 line ups is now found here: 2015 Louisville Slugger
First Glance 2015 Louisville 915 Prime Grade: A-
(An updated Second Glance Review of the 2015 Louisville 915 Prime Has been Added)
The 915 Prime is a ‘three piece’ bat. It has a 360 composite handle, graphite connective piece and a 360 composite barrel. Competitors would probably refer to this as a two-piece composite bat, but to keep in line with the way which Louisville Slugger is referring to the bat, we will call it a three-piece composite. Slugger’s branding for this technolgoy is called Tru-3.
The 915 Prime takes the place of the 2014 Attack from Slugger which, in our opinion, was one of the shining stars of the 2014 class. For those who read my blog you’ll know that I am never a fan of bats with new names that appear to be a repackaged bat from last year. It does lose a half a grade for no other reason than its attempt to confuse us.
The 915 Prime sizing is similar to last years models and we expect, as the year progresses, Slugger will fill in some of the gaps currently missing in the line.
You can almost always tell how good a bat is by how it resales in the secondary market. With the exception of the XL1 from Easton, we cannot find a bat that holds its resale value any better than the 2013 Louisville Slugger Attack (although some Easton S1 and DeMarini CF6 fans will take some exception to that). If the 915 is the new Attack for 2015, you can expect a very well made ‘three-piece’ design, good balance and a respectable resale value. The thirty day swing guarantee from Slugger is also a major plus.
If and when further sizes came out the Prime 915 the grade may very well turn into an A-. As well, if they could point out how this bat is any different then the 2013 Attack to justify a name change they might get another bump.
(Edit: The fact Ozzie Smith used this in the 2014 All-Star Legend and Celebrity Softball Game makes me want to give this bat a A+).
First Glance Review Louisville 715 Slugger Select: A-
The 2015 Louisville Slugger 715 Select is has taken the hybrid design from Slugger, made famous in the Vertex, but added the graphite connective piece made famous in the Attack series. It may very well be the first ‘three-piece’ hybrid bat on the market today.
We suspect Slugger had plenty of good feedback on the graphite connective piece made famous in the Attack series–hence the reason it is in the 915 Prime and now 715 Select. In the marketing material a Tru-3 bat (with a graphite connective piece) doesn’t allow the composite barrel and alloy handle to touch. This allows, in theory, for some of the best sting dampening on the market without a discount in performance. Our experience with the 2014 Attack, at least anecdotal, gave great reviews of the ‘Tru-3’ design and top of the class marks in sting dampening and feel. Adding this element to a aluminum barrel and composite handle hybrid may be a perfect match.
There are some painful propaganda going around suggesting the graphite piece somehow reverberates the vibration back into the barrel for more energy transfer to the ball. We are confident such an idea is marketing hype.
Regardless, the Tru3 design coming into the hybrid bat space is an exciting advancement. Using the metals proven in the Vertex (AC21 Scandium Alloy for the barrel and 360 Composite in the handle) with the Tru3 connection make the 2015 Louisville Slugger 715 Select something worth considering for two piece bat lovers with a need for an aluminum barrel. And when considering the restrictions BBCOR puts on composite barrels, it may be the best BBCOR bat Louisville Slugger makes in 2015.
First Glance Review Louisville Slugger 515 Omaha: B
The Omaha line has been around for ages. The paint jobs do change but the name does not. For that fact alone they get a bump or two in grade. Louisville Slugger has been using their proprietary ST+20 alloy in this single piece aluminum bat for a long time and its a proven work horse. An entry level bat with an entry level price that will serve a lot of little leaguers very well as they work on mechanics, bat speed and contacting the ball in front of them.
Expect durability an honest price and some decent pop out of the gates for the Omaha 515. At the BBCOR level this bat is allowed to have as much pop as any other bat in the league. If the weight distributions of a one-piece aluminum bat works for you then this might be a great fit and save you several bills as well.
First Glance Review 2015 Catalyst: B
The trusty Catalyst retruns with an updated look to match the other bats in the 2015 class as well as added girth to the bottom hand under grip.
The 2015 Louisville Slugger *15 series (915, 715, 515) consolidates Slugger baseball bat lines into comparable categories. We really like that idea. We think the 915 will be a solid bat, the 715 could steal the show in 2015, and the 515 will be seen at the plate in thousands of little league games around the country.
(Serial numbers for the above bats: YB05153, YBP5192, BBP9153, SLO5155, SLO5150, SLS7158, SLP915X, YBO5153, SLCT152, SLS715X, BBP9153.)