The Verdict: 4.1/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
|31" 28 oz. - Check Price|
|32" 29 oz. - Check Price|
|33" 30 oz. - Check Price|
|34" 31 oz. - Check Price|
The Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR is the latest entry in what’s certainly regarded as one of the most competitive segments of the baseball bat industry.
This is the niche of 2-piece bats with a light swing, and which focuses on providing maximum performance and having a huge barrel.
You’d think that a niche with a description this specific would have only one or two contenders, but the truth is that lots of the other top brands have their own bats for this category.
So what makes the 2017 Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR so different?
Features of the Prime 917 BBCOR baseball bat
For the most part, the Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBP9173 is based largely on the 2016 Prime.
Basically, it’s designed for the sort of hitter who prefers a 2-piece composite with a light swing weight, a large barrel, and a nice feel.
Except that it’s a new bat for the new year, so you can expect changes and improvements.
It is BBCOR-certified. So this is allowed for use in the NCAA and the NFHS. It also measures 2 5/8 inches in diameter, and the handle measures 31/32 of an inch.
The -3 drop ratio means that since it’s available in sizes ranging from 31 to 34 inches, the corresponding weight range is 28 to 31 ounces.
MicroForm Composite. This is the new composite material from Louisville Slugger, and you have to take note that it’s the one they feature on their most expensive BBCOR bats.
It comes with the special Fused Carbon Structure (FCS), which Louisville Slugger actually had patented.
This composite helps provide for a bigger sweet spot.
But more than that, it actually gives you a great pop right out of the wrapper. That’s not something you see every day with composite bats.
Of course, it still will benefit from a break in period. It just won’t take as long.
TRU3. Technically speaking, this isn’t really a 2-piece bat. It’s a 3-piece bat. The TRU3 design refers to the connective piece between the handle and the barrel.
The connecting piece (“dynamic socket connection”) reduces the vibration, boosts durability, and improves the feel on contact.
This time, Louisville Slugger tightened it well enough, so that it’s a bit even more durable and you get a bit more feel when you make contact.
Lizard Skin premium grip. The tackiness is really enhanced with this grip, so you get even better control. You feel comfortable too.
Two More Features You Don’t Want To Miss
in the picture: 2017 Prime BBCOR
2017 Louisville Slugger Bats – Power In Numbers Video
Benefits of This Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBP9173
So if you’re a baseball player, exactly why will these features help you as a hitter? Why is this Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR so expensive?
Some may say that the price is all about the advanced materials and design, but it’s more than that.
The performance is pretty hot right out of the wrapper. If for some reason you get this bat brand new and unused, and you have no other bat to use during the game, then actually this bat won’t give you fits.
It’s actually pretty good even without a break-in period.
But you have to understand that it still is a composite bat, and you have to break it in. There’s still no composite bat that won’t benefit from a break-in period.
At least you don’t have to take as long to get it to peak performance. You only need about 50 to 100 swings to get it ready.
That’s half the time you need for a regular composite bat, which requires anywhere from 100 to 200 swings before it’s ready for prime time.
It really offers an amazing pop. This is perhaps the general consensus of everyone who has tried the new Prime 917.
Of course, there’s a limit to the maximum trampoline effect—that’s what the BBCOR requirement is all about, after all. In the NCAA, the trampoline effect isn’t too much more than what you get from a wood bat.
However, the sweet spot is very large here. This sweet spot is where the area of the bat that gives the “pop” when you make contact.
And since the sweet spot is bigger, that means you get more pop from the Prime 917. The same area on another bat may not be part of the sweet spot, so it won’t travel as far.
Reduced vibrations. A few hitters actually use 1-piece bats because the design allows for a little bit more power to the bat.
However, the vibrations which travel through the length of the bat murder for your hands. Your hands will feel the sting every time you mishit the ball.
But that’s not going to be a problem here. First there’s the bigger sweet spot, which means making contact using this bat area doesn’t cause as much vibration.
So you reduce the chance of producing these vibrations in the first place.
And when you do get a mishit, your hands won’t suffer as a result.
That connecting piece between the handle and the barrel really dampens the strength of those vibrations, so that you get a buttery feel even on a mishit.
The Lizard Skin grip is amazing. That grip is world-class. It really gives you a good feel on contact, and the tackiness is topnotch.
It’ll be the best feeling to have this on your hands. Now some other grips may be able to match this grip’s performance, but surpassing it isn’t very likely.
The swing speed is quite speedy. We all know the value of a light swing speed, especially for hitters who want to put that ball into play.
Since you can easily start your swing with the Prime 917, you can get to the ball more quickly. So you have a bit of extra time to gauge how the ball will pass over the plate.
Also, if you can get a fast full swing when you make contact, then you’ll drive that bally farther and harder.
The balance is just right. Or at least for some players. For some hitters, the job is to get on base. These are usually the leadoff hitters.
These hitters tend to prefer balanced bats because it gives them the best control. For example, a balanced stick or baton is easier to wave around than a hammer, where the weight is loaded at the end.
Then there are the cleanup hitters who hit 4th, and these are usually the power hitters. Now most of these power hitters don’t really appreciate a finely balanced bat.
For them, it’s like hitting a nail with a heavy stick. It doesn’t quite drive the nail in like a hammer does.
But here’s the thing: with the Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR, the balance isn’t that even. So technically, this is a “balanced bat” and contact hitters will love this.
But power hitters won’t really hate this. It does offer some sort of heft to it due to the size of the barrel.
Does This Bat Have Any Pop?
What About Vibration and Grip?
Will I Be Able to Handle This Bat?
2017 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Lineup Video Preview
Should You Buy The 2017 Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR?
The choice of bats depends greatly on what kind of a hitter you are.
For example, power hitters invariably prefer end-loaded bats. Still, check if any of these descriptions match you in any way:
You hit 2nd or 3rd in the lineup, so you want maximum contact possibility with a bit of zing with your bat.
With this kind of bat, you increase the chances of getting on base so that the guy hitting 4th can get an RBI when he goes for an extra base hit or a home run.
At the same time, you can also advance the leadoff hitter if he gets on base. Or maybe you can just drive in the other players on base.
After all, players who hit #3 on the lineup include legends like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.
Homeruns aren’t out of the question, obviously.
This is still great if you’re the leadoff. After all, this is still a balanced bat with a large barrel, so you can really make contact more often.
And with the pop you can get from this bat, you don’t have to settle for just a single.
Some power hitters may also like this bat, and that’s because they don’t really want to punish their hands every time they mishit the ball. A lot of players feel that way, and that includes cleanup hitters.
Bottom Line: Can Anyone Use This Bat?
Final Thoughts on the Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR
There’s a reason why the Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR is expensive and yet it’s still coveted by so many players.
It offers a fantastic combination of pop, control, and comfort that you won’t easily find in any other bat.
Plus you also get one of the most recognizable brands on your bat.
2017 Louisville Slugger Prime 917 BBCOR
Leave a Reply