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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We spent 8 hours evaluating and researching the 2016 Louisville Slugger 916 Prime baseball bat.
Of those 8 hours, 5 were spent in the cage with several different hitters who play all levels of composite bat baseball. The remaining three were spent reading early online reviews of the 916 as well as exchanging several emails with Louisville Slugger’s home office in an attempt to get a feel for the direction and performance of this year’s Prime.
Other Similar Bats are plentiful as the balanced two piece composite space is thick with options. By way of swing weight and composition the 2016 CF8 may be its closest competitor. Of course the traditional Easton MAKO might also fit the comparisons list. The 916 is different than these two in the TRU3 connective piece and the standard lizard skin grip. By our measurements, both the CF8 and Easton MAKO have slightly larger barrels than the 2016 Prime—although it is rather close.
Versus the 2015 version of the 916 Prime, aptly named the 915 Prime, you can expect more durability and the addition of Lizard Skin grip. The 915 was Slugger’s first iteration into the two piece composite space. As such, we like the 2016 Prime a bit better as they fixed the major durability issues found on year one. The 916 is a reasonable bat and, frankly, not much different than the 2019 prime 919.
By way of construction, like the 2015 915 Prime, the 2016 916 will be a two-piece composite bat with a balanced swing weight. The transition from the composite handle and composite barrel is connected with a composite slug which stiffens the transition point. Slugger refers to this as their TRU3 connective piece and it has been working well since the 2014 Attack. By way of upgrades, the 2016 comes with a bigger barrel (12% or 27% depending on the model) and a new black and white camo lizard skin grip (1.2mm).
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.