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.
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:
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).
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.
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).
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.