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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 15, 2022
We reviewed a number of sources in putting together this article on the 2017 Louisville Slugger X12 fastpitch bat. For starters, we checked our 2017 DeMarini Vendetta Review and our overall Fastpitch Bat Reviews page. You may also find our XENO and LXT Slugger reviews worth a few minutes of your time.
After quality time with Slugger’s X12 fastpitch bat, we have our review and some recommendations. Overall, the Slugger X12 is an entry-level fastpitch bat with an entry-level price. It offers some features top-shelf bats boast, like its two-piece composite design. In other areas, it lacks newer composite structures and does not provide the same type of performance feedback found in real top-shelf bats. We recommend the X12 to the player looking for a value purchase, where top-end performance for top-end pitch speed is not as crucial as a reasonable price and light swing.
As a two-piece composite bat, the X12 maintains the same buttery smash that even the best fastpitch bats in the business maintain. The connective piece technology by Slugger is a legit piece of technology. That said, the bat lacks top-shelf performance along the length of the entire barrel. As well, the offering in only a drop 12 narrows the group of players the bat is recommended for.
With all of that in mind, we recommend the X12 from Slugger to newer and younger fastpitch players who like the idea of a quality brand on an average bat. The light swing weight and butter smash will feel like a top-shelf bat. However, if drives to the gaps and an occasional bomb are the goal, we suggest you look elsewhere for your fastpitch needs.
In the Drop 12 two-piece composite space, the Louisville Slugger X12 Fastpitch bat has at least a little bit of company. Maybe the most popular, Easton’s FS3 fastpitch bat, also a two-piece composite in the drop 12 built for a new player and a light swing. If we are to believe the average of most online reviews, then the FS3 is the more desired and more popular fastpitch bat when compared to the Slugger X12.
If you need a slightly heavier option in the drop 12 space, DeMarini makes a drop 12 fastpitch bat called the Vendetta. You can see our full DeMarini Vendetta Review here.
Louisville Slugger’s X12 Fastpitch bat uses a traditional two piece composite design. This design, found on the vast majority of top shelf fastpitch bats, combines a composite handle onto a composite barrel. The two pieces are made separately, then connected with a rubber or synthetic collar.
In theory, this two piece design allows for ball shock to dissipate before it reaches the hands. As such, two piece bats tend to ring the hands less. Depending on the strength of the transition, a two piece composite bat can also bend more on contact. As a general rule, this sting dampening also causes some performance dampening, as possible trampoline effect is negated by a softer landing.
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.