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Lots of players are looking forward to using the new 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR.
Of all the brands in the baseball bat industry, there’s no denying the fact that the most iconic of them all is the Louisville Slugger.
They’ve issued many fantastic bats over the brand’s history of 132 years (and counting), and the Prime 918 is one of the best-regarded of the lot.
Now this renowned bat is back, and it’s better than ever before.
Features of the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR Baseball Bat: WTLBBP918B3
Firstly, it has a very different look than its predecessors. You might say that it came with a total makeover.
You’ll find the glossy handle which changes through a gray TRU 3 segment with blue lettering on a red band on to a barrel with a full matte black finish.
The barrel showcases the 918 in a huge prominent font on both sides of the bat.
Near the end cap, you also get the “Torch” section with the LS logo in glossy light blue. There’s also a smaller glossy blue shape under the “Prime”. The end cap looks different too.
The gist of the makeover makes it look really expensive, and it’s nicely sleek and smooth. It’s mostly black and red.
The blue color is new, and it’s a nice change over the more familiar yellow LS has used in the past.
LS has provided a convenient swing weight scale to use, going from 0 to 5 in terms of balanced to end-loaded.
This bat achieves a 1.7 balanced swing weight score. It’s the 2nd lowest swing weight in the Louisville Slugger lineup, with the Solo coming in at a 1.1 balanced weight score.
It’s available in several different versions. The WTLBBP918B3 is the BBCOR version. So you can expect the standard 2 5/8-inch barrel diameter along with the drop (-3) length to weight ratio.
It also features the BBCOR-certified stamp, so you know for a fact that it’s legal to use for high school and college play.
This is a 3-piece bat made of completely of composite for the “Microform”-design barrel. Here the bat features even more layers of the smaller 100% composite bat material.
One new element here is the innovative RTX end cap. This enables the even distribution of the weight so the overall balance is absolutely fantastic.
The end cap also extends the shape of the barrel, and as a consequence the sweet spot becomes bigger as well.
The end cap also adds to the durability of the bat.
The barrel feel is on the soft side rather than hard like aluminum. It really emphasizes the trampoline function of the bat that provides the kind of pop you want.
Then you have the TRU3 connection piece in the middle of the barrel and the handle. This piece reduces the vibration that travels from the barrel as you make contact.
It also gives a very different “feel” when you make contact. It’s a very smooth and non-jarring feeling.
The small amount of vibration that passes through the TRU3 connection is then dampened even further by the new custom Lizard Skins on the handle.
It uses the familiar knob seen in past design, because why change something that works very well already?
It doesn’t have any fancy shape or contour, though it is actually one of the bigger knobs in the market. The knob transitions to a nicely cushioned handle taper.
How Many Pieces Is This Bat?
Video: The 2018 Louisville Slugger Lineup
Pros of the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 (-3)
You don’t need to worry or to ask around whether or not it complies with BBCOR regulations. It’s completely BBCOR-certified.
It also looks great. It’s like a Maserati—it really does look extremely expensive. For high school players and young adults, looks are always important and this doesn’t disappoint. It looks darn cool.
It’s great that the sweet spot is bigger here, so you can get the best pop while you minimize the vibrations right at the start.
There’s no real need to break this in. You get that pop straight righ out of the wrapper.
What’s fantastic is that the pop is even great when the ball makes contact even away from the sweet spot.
This is usually where lesser bats fail to distinguish themselves.
But here, the ball somehow seems like it shoots out of the bat in a hurry even when you make contact with the inner or outer thirds of the bat instead of in the middle.
The low swing weight is terrific, especially for high school players who are still struggling to deal with end-loaded heavy bats.
The feel up contact is superb as well, and that’s due to the redesigned TRU3 connection piece. In previous versions, the bat didn’t really feel right somehow.
In some cases before, when you made contact the bat would seem to twist or even click.
But LS has made the connection much firmer and secure this time, so you don’t get that unsure feeling anymore. There’s no more unnecessary movement along the bat.
The lizard skin grip is really nice on your hands, and the way the handle is designed makes you feel comfortable and secure.
You’re not worried that you’ll let go of the barrel when you take a swing.
When it comes to vibrations, it’s like the whole barrel is the sweet spot. You don’t really feel the vibrations through the bat and grip into your hands.
That’s true even when you’re jammed or you hit the ball out of the sweet spot.
This gives you the confidence you need to make your swing, because you know you won’t be punished with pain when you make a mistake.
What About Pop and Swing Weight?
Motivational Louisville Slugger Video
Cons of the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR Bat
Go online, and it’s very easy to find a 2018 Louisville Slugger 918 BBCOR review that says it doesn’t have any drawbacks.
These reviews were written not just by sellers, but by actual players who gush about the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR. Still, we do feel the need to mention a few issues.
Perhaps the most notable issue that may take you aback is the price. This isn’t cheap, not at all. In fact, it’s the most expensive in the Louisville Slugger baseball bat lineup.
It’s the crème of the crop and the price reflects it. You won’t find too many 2018 high school and college bats selling for a higher price either.
What this means is that this is no bat for the casual baseball player who plays one or two games a year.
It’s more for a dedicated player who wants the best tools at their side.
Then there’s the sound. Many of us like the ping sound of aluminum bats we’ve used when we were younger. This time, the sound is definitely more like a “thud” than a ping.
Yes, some players like this sound, but many others may feel a slight disappointment. The sound it makes isn’t really all that memorable for most players.
Final Verdict of This 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR Baseball Bat
It’s got the performance, the feel, and the looks. It’s no wonder that the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR has been billed as the most complete bat ever.
Everything you want is right here—an easy swing weight, maximum pop, a bigger sweet spot, no pain for the hands, and smashing good looks. What more do you want?
This is the bat for you if you can afford it. But don’t think of it as an expense. Think of it more as an investment.
The bat gives you an unbelievable feeling whenever you make contact. It feels like it makes solid contact each time.
There’s no painful vibration traveling through the bat to remind you that you screwed up. This gives you the confidence to swing more, knowing there’s no pain even when you make a mistake.
But even when you’re just holding it in your hands, it feels great. Perhaps it’s the cool looks, or maybe it’s how the lizard skin grip feels comfy.
But it’s more like that it feels great because you know for a fact that the bat is a fantastic tool for hitting.
Save up for the 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 BBCOR—it’ll be worth every penny this coming baseball season.
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