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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
One of our favorite and most underrated bats is back for the 2023 series. In what might be the biggest news of the bat season, Slugger releases a USSSA version of the Select. They haven’t done that since 2018. They’ll also have a full complement of highly rated USA bats in the Select PWR, and the very popular Select PWR in BBCOR for 2023. This is, far and away, the most excited we are for any bat line in 2023.
Except for the light-swinging BBCOR player, the 2023 Slugger Select PWR is for everyone. For 2023, it comes in a light swinging drop 10 USA bat and a meaty drop 5 USSSA. The BBCOR version hasn’t changed much from the 2022 version of the bat, but that’s nothing to complain about. The 2022 version, like the ’23 version, is for serious hitters and has a stiff connection piece with a barrel that rakes.
In BBCOR, we think big hitters who want something that isn’t the DeMarini the Goods should look to the Select PWR first. The USSSA versions of the bat pose a bit of a mystery—as the hybrid space in USSSA has never had the hype that two-piece composites get. That said, for its price point, we think they’re better buys than single-piece alloys, and there is a real chance the select USSSA drop 5 is the best in its class. The USA versions of the Select PWR are top-shelf choices, and we like the drop 8 and 5 for the serious player looking for all the bats they can handle. The drop ten players might do better elsewhere, but we won’t blame them if they’re in love with the Select PWR.
The most comparable bat line is either The Goods from DeMarini or the HZRDUS from True Temper. Each has an extensive hybrid bat selection across the USSSA, BBCOR, and USA lines. They also focus more on the power hitter who likes a stiff feel and a big barrel and isn’t that concerned about the lightest swing.
The 2022 version only came in a BBCOR version of the bat. So, compared to the BBCOR 2022, the only difference is a lighter end cap for the 2023 BBCOR version. Compared to the 2021 USA versions of the bat, the barrel material is different, but they are fundamentally the same. For the USSSA versions of the 2023 Select PWR, everything is different compared to the 2018 version of the 718 Select.
The 2023 Louisville Slugger Select is a Hybrid bat with a big barrel and heavier-than-average swing weight. In BBCOR, you can expect it to swing on the heavy side. Drop 10 USA and USSSA have done a lot to make it swing light, but it is not as light as some single-piece alloys and two-piece composites. The connection piece is different in the BBCOR compared to the bat’s USSSA and USA versions. The BBCOR uses a stiff connection, making feedback on the hands more readily apparent. The connection piece in the youth bats is more flexible than in the Meta class of bats that focus on a great feel on every hit.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.