Published: July 3, 2017 | Last modified: December 21, 2017
We had an exclusive sneak peak at the Louisville Slugger 518 Omaha. The bat comes with a few upgrades when compared to the 517 Omaha. The 2018 model will serve that same stiff single piece purpose but with an upgraded end cap design and some new alloy additives to create more durability and a nice balanced swing. It will remain, we submit, a favorite bat of many strong high school and college players.
In the youth and big barrel space, the 518 serves as one of our favorite value purchases. Although it can ring the hands with it's single piece design, the bats good brand name, decent sized sweet spot and lighter swing are made for the budget conscience buyer looking for a good, new, stick.
The 518 Omaha began shipping on July 3rd, 2017.
Slugger 518 Omaha Recommendations
It is no secret that different types of hitters also tend to like different types of bats. In its current form, the Omaha series from Slugger has served the need of a value purchase in the younger leagues and the best bat for big hitting college players. Single piece bats transfer the most power to the ball and, accordingly, the most buzz to your hands.
Why You Might Like
- Value Purchase. Across every size (BBCOR, Big Barrel) the 518 is the least expensive perfomance bat. If you can hit well, expect top exit speed at a fraction of the cost of more premium bats.
- Great Power Transfer
- Stiff Feel
- Want a 29-inch BBCOR bat
Why You Might Not Like
- Hand Ring
- Smaller Barrel
- Although inexpensive compared to other performance bats, a single piece aluminum bat is not novel. There are other single piece aluminum bats (non performance) that are much cheaper.
What's New with the 518 Omaha
The most signficant upgrade from the 2017 Omaha to the 2018 Omaha is the change in the end cap. End caps, often overlooked, deliver good perofmrnace through the end of the barrel as well as increase durability. Also, end caps play a significant roll in swing weight. As, without surprise, weight added to the end of a bat effects swing weight more than any other factor.
Slugger's new 518 6-point end cap enhances the bats balance point and increases durability. It theory, at least, it extends the sweet spot too.
We are not foaming at the mouth convinced this is a true upgrade in terms of performance. But, if both the 517 and 518 were the same price we would prefer the 518 for this reason alone. How much someone should pay for the improved end cap will be a personal decision.
From the 2016 516 to the 2017 517 the alloy on the Omaha went through a considerable upgrade. That alloy allowed for a larger barrel without hurting durability or an increase in swing weight. That same alloy (Slugger calls this the 7U1+ alloy) is found in the 518 Omaha too.
Louisville Slugger 518 Sources
The best sources for the 518 Omaha can be found by reading the previous years reviews on the same bat. We have done one for each year and you can find them here:
In addition to previous year's piece on the Omaha, we think our collection of 2018 baseball bat reviews might be worth your gander. :
2018 Slugger Lineup Overview
In time, we will discuss the entire Louisville Slugger lineup. Below is a rough draw on where we think the 718 will fit in the 2018 Slugger line. Expect this to change as we gather more information.
Single Piece Aluminum
- Stiff Feel
- Good Value
- Hand Vibration
- Smaller Sweet Spot
Single Piece Hybrid
- Stiff Feel
- Balanced Swing?
- Only BBCOR?
- Smaller Sweetspot
Two Piece Hybrid
- End Load
- Hot Out the Wrapper
- Heaviest Swing
- Barrel Size?
Two Piece Composite
- Ultra Smooth
- Big Barrel
- Durability Concerns
518 Prime Swing Weight
In accordance with the way Easton did things last year Slugger is also putting a swing weight index on their bats. This allows a player to get a numerical representation of how the top end of Slugger bats swing compared to one another. The 518 Omaha is the 2nd heaviest baseball bat Slugger makes. It is noticeably heavier than the 618 Solo and lighter than the 718 Select. Although technically heavier than the 918 Prime, it is difficicult to tell the difference in MOI when comparing the two.
Where to Buy the 518 Omaha?
The 518 will be available just about every where they sell serious baseball bats. It is inexpensive enough to be found at a number of big box stores yet fits the performance enough bill to be found at places likeand . We always check Amazon as they tend to meld every major seller. But, don't expect to find this bat for a legitimate discount until late spring of 2019.
2018 Slugger 518 In Depth Review
518 vs 517 Omaha Construction
As we mention above, the major difference between the 2017 517 Omaha and the 2018 518 Omaha is the use of a different end cap. the 2018 version uses an newer composite that allows for a better sweet spot towards the end cap and a little more durability.
Ultimatlye, however, the 517 was a really great single piece aluminum bat. And the idea that an end cap somehow changed the nature of the beast is silliness. The 518 is the very close relative of the 517 and we'd struggle to suggest, with a straight face, the bats are different.
518 Omaha Comparable Bats
There are several single piece aluminum bats on the market today. In terms of structure, the most similar, or at least one of them, is the DeMarini Voodoo One.
Both of these bats have very similar swing weights, are made for the stiff feel and good power transfer. As well, both come in a number of sizing options. And both are aluminum bats built with the same price point and market in mind.
518 Omaha Sizing
Below are the list of sizes the Louisville Slugger 918 Prime bat will be offered in. There may be more than these.
- BBCOR 29 to 34 inch
- Big Barrel Drop 10
- Big Barrel Drop 5
- USAbat Bat