Disclaimer: This site uses affiliate links. Learn More.
By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Louisville Slugger recently released a set of professional-grade wood-crafted baseball bats just like the pro versions of these bats but available for amateur players. These MLB Authentic Cuts are the only wood bats on the market that carry the MLB logo. The bats are downright beautiful.
We had a chance to swing with a few of them and can say with confidence these bats are high-quality sticks that feel just like the real deal. Great craftsmanship and we wouldn’t expect anything less from Slugger.
Five Louisville Slugger MLB Authentic Cut models are available: three maple, one ash, and one birch. The maple comes in the popular C271 and L13 models, as well as one professional turning model. Both the ash and birch bats are Louisville Slugger professional turning models which are just like the pros swing.
Maple is the species preferred by most pro players. It features the ultimate surface hardness and provides an unmatched sound and feel at contact. Naturally harder, maple offers added strength at impact. Closed grains eliminate flaking, commonly seen with ash, allowing superior durability… The balanced swing weight of the C271 – among the top three turning models ordered by the pros – maximizes bat control and a player’s ability to get the barrel where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
Birch, the fastest growing species in professional baseball, features the ideal combination of surface hardness and flexibility for increased durability. Hardness similar to maple provides great sound and feel at contact. Flexibility closer to ash allows for forgiveness on nonbarrel contact, decreasing the chance of fractured breakage. Lighter per pound than maple, birch also affords lighter swing weights for comparable turning models.
Ash, still widely popular among big-league guys, provides the ultimate in flexibility due to its unique grain structure. More forgiving than maple, ash rarely sees fractured breakage. Visible grain lines allow for noticeable quality, giving you the confidence you need when you step to the plate.
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.