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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
This comprises our 2020 Louisville Slugger Select and 2020 Louisville Slugger Select PWR review. The former (no “PWR”) is a balanced swinging drop 10 and 8 USA hybrid bat as well as a VERY end loaded drop 5. The later (with the “PWR”) is a BBCOR version of the bat that is the next generation of the end loaded 719 Select. Both bats, the Slugger Select and Slugger Select PWR, comprise Sluggers’ 2020 two piece hybrid line. We hit both bats for this review, compared exit speeds and swing weights to previous years and write this 2020 Louisville Slugger Select Review.
In the new 2020 BBCOR Slugger Select PWR our hitters liked the stiffer feel of the connective piece when compared to the 2019 model. In the USA space, our hitters liked the many size options, great feel on contact and immediately hot out of the wrapper. The drop 5 USA is very heavy swinging while the drop 8 and 5 should be considered average. Some of our USA hitters thought it the best bat offering for 2020. We don’t disagree.
If you are in the BBCOR space and want serious end loaded power then the 2020 Slugger Select PWR is a great choice. As well, the USA drop 5 swings as heavy as many BBCOR bats in the same length. Our stronger BBCOR players preferred that PWR over most other high school bats. For the USA folks, the 2020 Slugger Select in drop 10 is a near industry favorite. The drop 8 gets good reviews from us as well as others and should do really well in the 12 and 13U leagues.
In the BBCOR space there are atleast a few heavy swinging hybrid bats. We think Marucci’s CAT 8 Connect is the most comparable. Both are heavy swinging two piece hybrid bats with big barrels and lots of fans. You can also check The Goods from Demarini which is a two piece hybrid as well built for the bigger hitter.
For 2020 you can still find the Voodoo Insane—which is really just a reprint of the 2019 version. As they move more towards The Goods in their lineup we expect to find a true end loaded version of the new The Goods line.
In USA there are still not too many hybrid bats with a huge breadth of options on the market. Folks like Easton are still trying to perfect their two piece composites so you won’t find any there. DeMarini does have a 2020 Voodoo that comes in a hybrid USA version. It doesn’t have nearly the breadth of sizing options as the 2020 Select in USA but, in terms of a competitor in its space, then that is it.
Compared to the 2019 Louisville Slugger 719 Select the new 2020 version in USA is exactly the same. Save, of course, the paint job. It still comes in a drop 5, 8 and 10 with the same aluminum barrel, composite handle and connection piece. In the event you can find both bats then the cheaper one is the way to go.
The BBCOR version of the 2020 Select PWR is quite a bit different than the 719 BBCOR from 2019. Slugger changed the connection piece to a stiffer feel that resembles the make up of the Meta PWR. Slugger also changed the aluminum barrel design for a longer barrel as well as a new end cap to support the longer barrel. Although we expect the market to like the Select PWR as much as they liked the 719 Select, do not expect to be getting the same bat with different paint job between the 719 and Select PWR.
The USA 2020 Select has no different construction than the 2019 version. That is, expect the same hybrid design with 7U1+ Alloy in the barrel, the VCX connection and Sped Ballistic end cap in a balanced swing weight. The grip stays the same as the Pro Comfort Premium they’ve had since they don’t use Lizard Skin anymore.
The BBCOR version has all types of new stuff. Slugger, like all companies, ads marketing jargon to their new stuff. We break it down.
New to the Slugger line is the connective piece used on the Slugger PWR and the Meta PWR. It is called the 3FX-PWR Connection. Which, in effect, is the same connection they used on the 2019 Meta but with a stiffer feel. This is meant for big hitters.
Worth noting, and likely the most obvious change from 2019 to 2020, is the change in alloy found in the barrel. This new alloy, which Slugger calls EXD Alloy, allows for a longer barrel without sacrificing (their claim not ours) any durability.
As well, Slugger redesigned the end cap for 2020 in the Select PWR that they call a PWR end cap design. It is made specifically for the PWR bats in the 2020 lineup.
The grip, and swing weight, stay the same as the 2019 719.
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.