On October 20th, the 2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo will be released. In preparation, we have spent time on the phone with major vendors discussing expectations for the bat. As well, we’ve searched far and wide on Instagram accounts and smaller vendor websites for any information we could find. While performance and feedback is a bit of a mystery at the moment, we still establish this page to deliver the information we have gathered to date on what we might consider the most exciting bat release of the year. Although not yet complete, consider this our current 2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Review.
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Sizing
From all we have gathered, the 617 Solo will only release in a BBCOR version. Of note, the shortest length will be 29 inches—this is, if you don’t follow the space too closely, a remarkable offering. Most BBCOR bats rarely come as short as 30 inches, let alone 29. We suspect many young BBCOR players looking for the lightest swing speed will appreciate the barrel size on the SOLO. The top end will be 34 inches.
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Construction
The 2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo is a single piece hybrid bat. We are not sure if we made up that categorization of bats in general, but we think it fitting for the 617. The bat is a single piece aluminum through the entire barrel, but has a composite end cap. This composite end cap can influence two significant things:
- The strength of the barrel, especially toward the end cap, is significantly affected by the strength of the end cap. A composite end cap can be honed for maximum durability. Slugger’s claim is the 617 optimized that feature. That optimization is directly correlated with how large the barrel can be—another key feature Slugger touts on the 617.
- A lighter end cap means lighter swing weight. This is also the claim with the 617 Solo. A lighter end cap delivers a balance point more toward the hands. In turn, greater bat speed and more bat control.
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Comparable Bats
The advancement of single piece hybrid bats have been the most robust in the entire industry. The 617 is Slugger’s response to the demand of players looking for a single piece feel without losing the swing weight and barrel size of a two piece composite.
Other companies have tried similar ideas. The VELO from Rawlings, it could be argued, pioneered the space of single piece bats with composite end cap. Axe Bats also produces a single piece aluminum bat with a composite end cap. Those two stand out, at least on paper, as similar constructions to the 617 Solo from Slugger. Time will tell us much more in terms of durability, performance and player uptake.
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Recommendations
As we are yet to hit with the bat, or get its swing weight and barrel measurements, it is difficult to give full blown recommendations. When more details are gathered we will give stronger recommendations. In the interim, however, we submit those who will like this bat fit some of these categories below:
- Players who seek a light swinging bat with a ‘wood like’ hitting feel
- Atheletes in the BBCOR space
- Hitters who appreciate the direct feel of single piece aluminum bats
- Batters who want a hot out of the wrapper bat
More categories will be added to this list as we get our hands on the 617 at release (10/20/2016).
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Video
Baseball express has a video up with one of Slugger’s guys talking through the marketing bullet points of the bat.
2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Sources
Hard to find many public sources on the bat at the moment—outside of the product description. A number of vendors are showing the bat up for ‘pre-sale’ or simply listing the bat and showing it is ‘out of stock. Slugger’s main baseball page at least shows a picture of the bat although it doesn’t have a landing page yet.