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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We now turn our attention to Slugger’s one piece composite, their only carry over from years past for the 2015 line, the 2015 Catalyst.
The Catalyst name has been used by Slugger in at least the last four years. Its genesis, as far as the Internets could tell us, was the one piece Louisville Slugger TPX Catalyst released in 2011. In 2012 the bat was released with a color up and hasn’t looked back.
The 2015 Slugger Catalyst is an ultra-light swinging bat made for the small or young one who needs as much bat speed to barrel ratio as possible. It might ring some hands, but the type of player that needs this bat rarely sees the pitch speed associated with hand sting.
As with the name, the bat itself hasn’t changed much over the years either. This isn’t a bad thing. The only change that we found, aside from the obvious color ups, was an increase in durability for the 2 1/4 barreled version between 2013 and 2014.
This year the Catalyst story is much the same with another slight improvement: The bottom hand of the grip has been expanded to increase grip contact. Although we admit it is a personal preference, we are fans of this expanded grip.
This bat is a full composite and will require several hits to break in. Manufacturers usually suggest 50 hits spread evenly across the barrel. We’ve found that those 50 hits need to be done by an adult as the power generated in a 9 year old just can’t hack it hard enough to get worked in. Quite often, we’ve also found, that 200 hits is more like it.
We’ve hit with the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Slugger Catalyst bat in the Senior League level. We’ve found them all to be very similar in feel (because they are). These are very light weighted bats built for players trying to get as much barrel across the plate as possible without sacrificing swing speed.
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.