We hit with the 2018 Louisville Slugger 618 in a USAbat just shy of 200 times. Most of those hits came in cages spread out over 4 different players. We found the bat an ultra light swing and a barrel size that, although not ginormous, was big enough to justify its price. The grip, which is Lizard skin, is world class. Generally, we think those in the drop 11 USABat space looking for a mid range priced bat should look no further than the 2018 Louisville Slugger USA 618 Solo. (You may also like our 618 Solo BBCOR review).
618 USABat Solo Hitting Video
Best Place to Buy
Slugger's distribution is fantastic. As such, you can expect to buy the 618 at all major baseball bat retail outlets. We personally like Amazon and at least check the price there before going elsewhere. Do not expect to see any legitimate discounts on the 618 Solo until the early summer of 2018.
618 Solo USABat Recommendations
The recommendations for the type of hitter that will like the USA version of this bat are about the same that like the BBCOR version too. That is, this bat is perfect for the hitter who wants a light swinging bat with good stiffness, a superior grip and top echelon barrel performance.
- Highly Recommended
- Great Value Purchase
We also like how the USABat is committed to a wide variety of lengths. The 28-inch and 17 ounce bat is one of the lightest swinging USABats on the market in the USABat space as is our recommendation for anyone that wants the lightest swing possible.
Although it does tend to ring the hands, we think that no different than other top shelf single piece aluminum bats. the slight taper in the knob as well as the thick Lizard Skin grip help.
618 USABat Sizing
In 2018 the plan is for the 2018 USABat 618 Solo to be produced in a drop 11 only. The drop, you should know, is the numerical difference between the length of bat in inches and weight in ounces. So, a 30-inch 618 USABat will weigh 19 ounces (30 minus 11 is 19).
Size lengths range from 28 up to 32 and make it the most lengths in an sinlge line of bats for 2018 in the USABat space. We have learned that at leas some of the smaller sizes are a bit harder to find.
618 Solo USA Comparable Bats
The most comparable bat to the 618 Solo USAbat is Rawlings' 2018 drop 11 Velo. The Velo in the drop 11 is an exclusive bat to justbats.com. You can find it elsewhere, as well as jusbats.com, in a drop 10.
In terms of balance, construction, price point and the general feel at contact the 618 and Velo drop 11s swing very similarly. We tend to like the larger barrel and thicker rip of the 618 Solo, but each are decent choices.
618 USABat Construction
As was the 617 Solo built, so goes the 618. It includes a single piece aluminum barrel with an extended composite end cap and a Lizard Skin grip. It is a rather straight forward bat with a stiff feel, okay sized barrel and remarkably lights wing weight.
Granted, in 2017 USABats were not invented yet so looking at an old model is impossible. But, in terms of construction, the 618 Solo is built just like the 617 version in the BBCOR space.