Sizes and Design: The 2016 516 Omaha from Louisville Slugger (Amazon’s Best Price, eBay’s best search) is a one piece aluminum alloy bat built for hot out of the wrapper performance. It comes with a standard lizard skin grip and in a variety of sizes in BBCOR, Senior League (2 5/8 & 2 3/4) as well as 2 1/4 sized barrels.
Changes from 2015: As an improvement to last years 515 Omaha, the 2016 version is made with a new lightweight alloy Slugger refers to the 7U1. This alloy blend has allowed for two significant changes in the bat’s 2016 design:
- The new alloy gave engineers a chance to create a larger sweet spot. The barrel size on the drop 10 senior league models is measured at 40% larger (or about 2 inches bigger) when compared to the 515 from 2015. The little league youth barrels (2 1/4) are about 25% longer from 2015 to 2016. Of serious note, the barrel on the senior league 516 is actually LARGER than the barrel on the 716 hybrid bat from Slugger. In fact, it is nearly the same size as the 916 two piece composite bat from Slugger.
- The swing weight on the Louisville Slugger 516, compared to 2015 515, dropped about 8%.
As well, it should be noted, the 2016 Louisville Slugger 516 comes with a standard lizard skin grip where the 515 did not.
Experience: We spent three hours in the cage using the 516 in comparison to other single piece alloy bats and other bats in the 2016 Slugger line up (like the 916 Prime and the 716 Select). We also spent a good two hours reading early reviews online from real players. Overall we can confirm the bat has plenty of feedback on player hands during mishits—but the quick out the wrapper power expected in a one piece alloy bat—as well as it’s large barrel for this type of bat—makes it a remarkable stick for the 2016 class. Time will tell but it may be our favorite single piece alloy bat of the year.
Additionally the over-sized barrel for a single piece aluminum and the lighter swing from the new alloy puts the 516 in the top of the class of one piece alloy bats.
Similar Bats: Single piece aluminum alloy bats in the performance space are the RIP-IT Air, the DeMarini Insane and the Easton S3 or Easton Z-Core. None of them, by our measurement, have quite the same low swing weight as the 516 although the S3 is very close. In this grouping, the 516’s barrel size is above average.
Recommendations: We’d recommend this bat to anyone in the mid range performance price market and who prefers the power one piece bats bring and can withstand the ringing that one piece bats give to hands on mishits. We’d also suggest the upgrades from 2015 to 2016 are well worth the added price for newer stuff.
Those who can hit well with a smaller barrel (at least compared to some hybrid/composite barrels) and look for power at the plate will appreciate lots about this 2016 516 Omaha from Slugger.