Published: June 19, 2017 | Last modified: January 10, 2018
After being named the best 2017 BBCOR baseball bat, the 618 SOLO from Louisville Slugger is BACK! If the bat is anything like last year, and it is, then you can expect a sweet swinging single piece with an extended composite end cap. It is the most balanced bat Slugger makes and by balanced we mean the lightest swinging. It will also come in a 29-inch which we absolutely love. Count the following as our 2018 Louisville Slugger 618 Solo Review. An absolute must read before you pull the trigger.
Fun Fact: The 29-inch 2018 618 Solo is the lightest swinging BBCOR bat on the planet. We know this because we measured the swing weight of every one of them. It also did quite well on our exit speed tests.
Where to Buy the 618 SOLO?
When the bat releases in September, you will only be allowed to purchase the bat at verified vendors. And, unless the bat comes from some grey market avenue, you will not see it for any less than its advertised price. We often look at places like closeoutbats and justbats to get a feel for where things stand. And of course, we always check Amazon bat section with a search like this.
Louisville Slugger 2018 Perforamance Bat Lineup
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.
In short, the 718 Select appears to be an upgrade from the 716 in 2016 that boasted a two piece hybrid structure. As we get more time with the bat, and start to hear back from players that have actually used it, we will keep our notes and data points in the following 2018 Louisville Slugger 718 Select Review.
Single Piece Aluminum
- Stiff Feel
- Good Value
- Hand Vibration
- Smaller Sweet Spot
Single Piece Hybrid
- Stiff Feel
- Lightest Swing
- Only BBCOR?
- Smaller Sweetspot
Two Piece Hybrid
- Smooth Feel
- Hot Out the Wrapper
- Too Soft a Feel?
- Barrel Size?
Two Piece Composite
- Ultra Smooth?
- Big Barrel
- Durability Concerns
Louisville Slugger 2018 Swing Weight Index
On each Lousivlle Slugger 2018 BBCOR ba you will also find a swing weight index. This is remarkably useful for online buyers. As you can see below, the 618 SOLO is the lightest swing in the lineup per given bat length.
2018 618 vs 2017 617
Slugger changed two things on the 2018 version of the SOLO. The first is a different composite structure on the end cap. The 2017 version had a composite end cap for sure, but the 2018 SOLO uses a new composite that is even lighter. It is, in part at least, some of the reason the 618 SOLO is the ligthest swinging bat in the 2018 Slugger lineup.
The only truly comparable bat tot he 618 SOLO on the market, aside from the 617 SOLO from 2017, is the Rawlings VELO in BBCOR. Both the Rawlings VELO and the 618 SOLO have prided themsevles on producing a light swinging single piece with an extended end cap.
What the 618 SOLO has that the VELO does not is a broad range of lengths. That reality is the driving feature in our preference for the SOLO over the VELO. Although, as many like to point out, the VELO has a much longer pedigree than the two year old SOLO line.
Louisville Slugger 718 Sources
We have spent the last 4 years of our lives studying bats and measuring their success. Our bat reviews page is the industries leading source on baseball bats. From there, you will find other 2018 Baseball Bat Ratings worth your time.
Off of this site there are three places we check all the time for bat information. You can find more information on those sites about the 2018 618 Lousivlle Slugger SOLO. They are, in no particular order: Justbats.com, Closeoutbats.com and Amazon's 718 Slugger Section.
2018 Slugger 618 SOLO Ratings
The only thing we are sure of is that the 718 will come in a BBCOR size bat. We are hopeful to find the same robust line as the 716 line, but time will only tell.
2018 Louisville Slugger Ratings
As we have only seen this bat hit on TV (during the CWS and Regionals) it is impossible to make any firm determinations as to recommendations. If the bat is anything like the 2016 Slugger 716 Select then you can expect a somewhat balanced swing weight and a nice smooth smash. As we gather more data we will update that information here.