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As one of the very first to swing the original 515 and 516 Omaha from Louisville Slugger, we have hit regularly with each of those bats over the course of the last two years. We recently spent considerable time in the cage with the new 2017 Louisville Slugger 517 Omaha. That direct analysis, combined with well over a thousand hours of writing, reviewing and researching performance single piece aluminum bats, goes into our 2017 Louisville Slugger 517 Omaha Review.
Louisville Slugger 517 Recommendations: We Would If…
The 517 Slugger is built for a player who doesn’t want to afford a top shelf bat, but still wants enough value in their purchase for legit performance. More particularly, we’d consider the bat on our short list if we:
- Wanted the latest generation of the 51X series from Slugger
- Preferred stiff one piece bats and are okay with a smaller hitting area
- Liked the power that comes with a one piece bat
- Wanted to recreate the wood experience
- Were looking for a value purchase in the performance space
- Preferred an aluminum barrel for its hot out of the wrapper performance
Louisville Slugger 517 Recommendations: We would NOT If…
The 517 isn’t for everyone. And Slugger doesn’t suggest that either. There are a handful of large categories of players for whom we don’t think the bat is a good fit. That includes those who:
- Prefer the smoother hit of a two piece bat
- Prefer composite barrels and, as is often the case, the larger barrel that comes with it
- Are comfortable spending more
- Want an end loaded bat
Louisville Slugger 517 Sizing
From a pure weight and length perspective, few bats have more iterations than the 517 from Slugger. This is due, in large measure, to the bat’s success in terms of parent and player appreciation. Parents, we are assuming, appreciate the price point, and many players are perfectly happy with the bat’s performance. Such has been the case, and with the 2017 version, it looks like it will continue to be so.
- BBCOR: 29 to 34 inches
- Senior Barrel 2 5/8 Drop 10
- Senior Barrel 2 5/8 Drop 5
- Big Barrel 2 3/4 Drop 10
- Junior Big Barrel 2 3/4 Drop 10
Louisville Slugger 2017 517 Construction vs 2016
The major upgrade from the 2016 516 are an improved alloy for a lighter swing speed. We can confirm that. Additionally, while the physical barrel hasn’t increased much (if at all), Slugger claims the usable barrel, due to an upgraded alloy, has also increased. This, in theory at-least, creates a larger sweet spot. There really is no way for us to confirm this. Another change from previous years is a custom Lizard Skin grip.
Louisville Slugger 517 Comparable Bats
The vast majority of big box store mass production bats are single piece alloy designs. However, few of them are designed to reach peak performance in terms of BBCOR and BPF standards. Within those few stands the 517 from Slugger. Two others come to mind: the 2017 Rawlings 5150 and the 2017 Easton HMX Speed.
Louisville Slugger 517 Video Review
2017 Louisville Slugger 517 Resources
Maybe unsurprisingly, there are not many great 517 resources online. As the season goes on, and as many players start posting their experiences online, more should come. Putting together this review we relied heavily on our own experience with the 517 and well as the 2016 516 and 2015 515. Since the bats haven’t changed substantially, we also put some stock in general user reviews of these older models via Amazon’s and Justbats’ user reviews. We also spent a fair amount of time looking at Louisville Slugger’s site and a few other vendors’ product offerings to confirm sizing. Here is the list:
2015 Louisville Slugger 515 Review
2016 Louisville Slugger 516 Review
Louisville Slugger’s Bat Page
Amazon Review Section on the 515 and 516
Justbats.com 51x review section reviews
Closeoutbats.com bat specs and data
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