We hit the 2018 Louisville Slugger USABat lineup hard in cage. We liked the 718 Drop 5 the most of the bunch, but would understand how a smaller player will appreciate the drop 10 718 more. We also loved the light swing of the 618---few drop 11's this year in the USAbat space make this an easy choice for that niche. Below we overview the 2018 Louisville Slugger USABats.
Slugger USABat Cage Side Video Hitting
Other 718 & 618 USABat Sources
Outside of this overview, we suggest you also read information on our USABats, 618 BBCOR Review and 718 BBCOR Review.
We take reviewing bats very seriously. This is not just a smell test---where we look at pictures of the bats online, take a couple user feedbacks and then write up long winded reviews.
Rather, we hit with every bat we review. That hitting includes tee, cage and game work. As well, we test the bat among several different players and record their "feel" feedback.
While no single piece of information above drives our total recommendations, they each add a bit to our overall impressions of the bats. That information is combined in each our individual bat reviews.
Where is the 918 Prime USABat?
As of this writing, we know of no plans from Louisville Slugger to produce a USABat in the 918 Prime for 2018.
We also know of no Slugger plans beyond 2018 in the USABat space that include a 918 Slugger Prime. However, and this is just a gut feeling, there is no way Slugger does not ultimately produce a 2 piece composite, or at least a composite barrel, in the USABat space at some point in the somewhat near future.
We suspect the timing of that will depend largely on how well other two piece composite bats do in the space. But, time will only tell.
Louisville Slugger 718 Select USABat Overview
Our full review of the 718 USABat slugger (coming soon) will have more details. But, after considerable use, we think the 718 Select will be a stand out bat in the USABat space for 2018. Our exit speeds showed above average results, the drop 5 and drop 10 swing true to their weight class and the two piece connection piece makes for a super smooth smash.
- Drop 5
- Drop 10
See our full Louisville Slugger 718 Select USABat Review here.
Although the physical barrel size did not woo us, hitters felt they got good to great contact often. Many of our testers favorite bat in the 2018 USABat bunch was the 718 Drop 5.
Louisville Slugger 618 Solo USABat Overview
Drop 11 single piece aluminum bats are a tough sell for us. (More on why later). But, if any bat is going to woo us over in this space we like the 618 Solo in the USABat space. It carries a big enough barrel to make mishits tolerable, and maintains an ultra light swing to where even the most prepubescent among us can make legit contact.
- Drop 11
As a general rule, the less mass in a total bat the more you want, almost need, it to be a two piece design. The lack of mass in single piece bats makes for an absolute beating of the hands on mishits. Most players, especially younger ones, benefit from more confidence in the box and much of that confidence can be removed if the occasionally rips off one of your thumbs.
See our full Louisville Slugger 618 Select USABat Review here.
Although the 618 was not as smooth sailing as the two piece 718 Select (it is not designed to be) we were surprised at how little that bat hurt our hands when compared to some of the other single piece aluminum bats in the drop 11 space. To be specific, the drop 11 Rawlings VELO was a straight flat dog on mishits while the drop 11 618 Solo was tolerable. Every hitter we used in the drop 11 USABat space had the exact same feedback.