Over the last 3 years, we hit with Louisville Slugger’s Catalyst numerous times. We also exchanged a handful of emails with Slugger’s design and marketing team, as well as a few major vendors, discussing the bat’s usefulness. That data, along with the new information for the 2017 model, comprises our 2017 Louisville Slugger Catalyst Review.
2017 Slugger Catalyst Recommendations
As a drop 12 bat built of a single piece of composite, the Slugger Catalyst is an easy swinging bat with a big barrel. Hitters looking for as much barrel speed and control as possible combined with the feel and power of a one-piece stick, appreciate the Catalyst the most. Our bullet point recommendations look like this:
- Players needing as much barrel for swing weight as possible
- Hitters in 2 3/4 or 2 5/8 leagues
- Parents with a mid to low range budget wanting something with a good brand name
- Those who appreciate the direct feedback of a single piece bat.
Should Hesitate If
- The player needs BBCOR, Youth or anything but a drop 12
- He or she wants an aluminum bat for hot out of the wrapper performance
- They need or prefer a two piece bat for a smoother feel on contacts and mishits
2017 Slugger Catalyst Video
2017 Slugger Catalyst Sizing
The 2017 Louisville Slugger Catalyst only comes in a drop 12 for the 2 3/4 and 2 5/8 space. The 2016 and 2015 versions were also released in a youth barrel, but not the case with the 2017 version. We are guessing lack of youth barrel in the 2017 version is due to the industry’s move away from 2 1/4 bats for the new USABats standard in 2018.
Notice, as well, the 2 5/8 (top) are designed differently than the 2 3/4 (bottom).
2017 Slugger Catalyst Construction vs 2016
There are no changes between the 2016 and 2017 Slugger Catalyst. That is with the obvious exception of the color change. The bat is still a single piece C1C composite construction with a good sized barrel.
Our favorite feature of the Catalyst has always been its tapered knob in a drop 12. For 2017, we are not aware of a single senior barrel or big barrel bat in a drop 12 that also has the tapered lower knob. Some younger players really like that feature, and in some cases, it may be the tipping point in decision making.
2017 Slugger Catalyst Comparable Bats
Other bats in the light swinging drop 12 space include the Rawlings VELO and DeMarini CF Zen. But, their construction and feel is an entirely different. (See our 2017 Rawlings VELO Review and our 2017 DeMarini CF Zen Review).
2017 Slugger Catalyst Sources
Amazon’s product page is somewhat helpful. Check as well, Slugger’s product page on the Catalyst for up to date information and MSRP. Our 2016 and 2015 Slugger Catalyst Review was relied upon heavily.