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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Our 2020 Louisville Slugger Prime review consists of years of data collection for the Slugger Prime bats. The 2020 edition will be the 6th edition of the Prime. As expected, the 2020 version is a two piece composite bat built with a balanced swing weight, big barrel and comes in a number of sizes in the BBCOR, USA and USSSA space. There are virtually no changes in the construction of the bat from the 2019 versions.
Hitters love the feel on contact especially in the BBCOR. Each league version of the Slugger Prime uses a elastic type connection between barrel and handle. This allows for good give on mishits to help remove hand sting.
Baseball players in the BBCOR and USA space rate the Prime as one of the leagues top bats. In fact, if it weren’t for the Meta or the Rawlings Quatro the Prime would be the most popular in the space. We recommend the bat far and wide for the serious player looking for the idea smash of a two piece composite bat.
A two-piece composite bat with a balanced swing in the BBCOR, USA and USSSA spaces are matched by a few outstanding bats. If you are looking for a bat with the same full breadth as the 2020 Prime then bats like DeMarini’s CF or Rawling’s Quatro might do the trick. In terms of individual leagues you can compare a bat like the 2020 Meta (also from Slugger) with the 2020 Prime. Or, you could look at the Easton Ghost Evolution in USA compared to the 2020 USA Prime.
Whatever you do, if you want to stay with something that is like the Prime, go with a two-piece composite with a verified balanced swing weight. There are plenty of those.
Compared to the 2019 919 prime the 2020 Prime changes nothing but the paint job in each of the three leagues it represents. It still has the same AVC Microform that came new on the 919, the VCX connection system is the same, its has the same exact end cap, a balanced swing weight and the same custom grip made by Slugger.
In other words, if you can find the 919 Prime for less then go for it.
There are several marketing terms you’ll hear thrown around about the 2020 Louisville Slugger Prime. Although it is marketing jargon, no doubt, it does refer to specific parts of the bat that have real function. Here is our breakdown review of the 2020 Slugger Prime construction. The marketing terms are in bold.
Premium AVC MicroForm Composite refers to the manner in which the composite material for the barrel is made. This structure is built from a plastic material, like all composite bats. This structure isn’t remarkable different than most other composite barrel bats but it is Slugger’s take on a bat that allows for a long sweet spot and good balance.
VCX Vibrational Control Connection System is the device Slugger uses to connect the barrel and handle. This device has evolved over the years from the original Tru3 found on bats like the 915 prime to this new VCX. Some years ago the Tru3 struggled with the barrel and handle separating such that the barrel would spin on contact. It felt weird and got more than a few complaints. The VCX design was in response, at least in part, to that issue.
RTX End Cap design is simply Slugger’s take on their Prime’s end cap. It has been the same as the 2019 version where it was new. They did update the end cap in other bats this year—like the Solo got a new speed endcap while the Select PWR got a new design too. We expect the Prime to either go away completely in 2021 (with all the emphasis on the Meta) or get an upgraded end cap in 2021. By way of performance there isn’t much to talk about. It’s an endcap that helps the barrel compress and keeps its durability.
Balanced Swing Weight based on our measurements the Prime, since its original 915 days, has been a balanced bat. This holds true across BBCOR, USA and USSSA versions. The bat is what folks migth refer to as “easy” to swing. There is no end load.
Premium LS Pro Comfort Grip is Slugger’s take on a Lizard Skin—those are our words, not anyone elses. A couple years back Slugger bats came standard with a Lizard Skin grip. But, that relationship ended and Slugger just puts their own grips. Its is, for all intents and purposes, a good grip with legit tackiness.
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.