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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 15, 2022
We spent 4 hours in our cage with the 2016 Louisville Slugger XENO PLUS Fastpitch bat. We received feedback from 4 different hitters—each has played serious competitive fastpitch softball. Another hour was spent researching previous versions of the XENO on vendor sites. We also read dozens of online reviews that discuss the bat. As well, we exchanged emails with Louisville Slugger corporate team to clarify some information. All that contributed to our 2016 Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus Review.
With that data set, we concluded the 2016 XENO PLUS from Louisville Slugger is as good of a bat as you can find in the Fastpitch space. Players like not only the large barrel and verifiable performance of the bat, but also the pedigree of success the Slugger XENO name carries with it.
The most similar bat to the 2016 XENO PLUS is its sister bat: the 2016 Louisville Slugger LXT PLUS. Both bats are full composites with light swing weights, double walls, and the hot out-of-the-wrapper feel (because of the PLUS composite). The XENO, in comparison, is more forgiving on mishits with its vibration dampening connective piece.
On the whole, Collegiate teams tend to flock more towards the LXT because of its truer feedback with vibration while younger players tend to prefer the Slugger XENO PLUS. But, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
If we were forced outside the brand to find a similar bat, we’d suggest, maybe, the 2016 2 Legit from Worth.
The 2016 XENO PLUS, like previous year’s versions, is a balanced bat with a gigantic sweet spot and reduced vibration. The bat continues to have the smashing sound that has made it recognizable on ballparks across America. The 2016 Xeno, like previous years as well, continues to be a double walled bat. This structure allows the outside and inside layer to work for maximum allowable pop with the right amount of durability.
This year’s XENO, when compared to the 2015 version, comes with a thinner walled outer shell. This newer composite design is referred to a PLUS Composite—hence, the XENO PLUS name. This thin walled PLUS composite gets the bat much closer to maximum performance standards straight out of the wrapper. Some hitters are claiming they need no work in period on the composite barrel for. Our experience appeared to confirm this—although it is impossible to really tell with just one bat.
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.