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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 15, 2022
We also paid attention to hand vibration and overall feel. After also reading every review online we could find, we write this 2019 Slugger XENO review. In short, we think the XENO the best fastpitch bat on for 2019.
We found, without surprise, the XENO one of the favorite 2019 fastpitch bats. Players loved the sound of the bat. The stiffness in the handle was noticeable—especially compared to the LXT—and was preferred by stronger hitters. Exit speed numbers across the board looked great compared to other bats. We expect that with stiffer bats—where more power transfers to the ball.
Some would argue there is nothing that compares to the XENO. Fair enough.
But, if we were to suggest something else to look at if the XENO is up your alley, then how about the Mizuno Carbon 2? This is a two piece composite (like the XENO) with a stiffer connection (like the XENO) with a huge barrel (like the XENO) and a nearly identical swing weight to the XENO (at least in the 32/22 that we measured). It also has the same, brand new, price point.
Of course the Mizuno Carbon 2 lacks the long and impressive pedigree as the XENO. This is most apparent in looking for more user feedback from a 2018 version—which the Mizuno Carbon 2 has none. The XENO, on the other hand, has been a fan favorite since they invented fastpitch.
The only structural change to the 2019 XENO, when compared to the 2018 version, stems from a lighter end cap. This new, light, end cap apparently allows for more integrity and length in the sweet spot of the 2019 XENO. Our testing was unable to prove this claim one way or the other. The 2019 version feels and swings like a great bat. So does the 2018 version.
Assuming you can find the 2018 version in your size (these do eventually sell out) we think you’ll be rather happy with the bat. Most who bought the 2018 bat were over the moon about it. But, no doubt, the 2019 will get as rave reviews as the 2018 version did. It is, save the end cap, the same bat in terms of the S1ID Barrel and IST connection piece.
As we mention above, the major change in this year’s XENO is a new, lighter, end cap. This weight savings allows Slugger to improve sweet spot length and barrel durability (their claim, not ours).
Otherwise, expect the same great feel and construction that has made the XENO as famous as it is. That is, the S1ID Barrel is back as well as the IST connection piece.
The swing weight of the 2019 XENO runs 4% heavier than the average 32/22 fastpitch bat in 2019. This is still lighter than some of the real high MOI bats like the PXT and Ghost Double Barrel. But, the heavier swing weight in the XENO is noticable and those who like lighter swinging bats need either look elsewhere or size down an inch (or drop).
Traditionally, the XENO line is for more advanced players who like want as much power transfer to the ball as possible but still prefer the two piece composite design. The 2019 version should be no different. Stronger players, or those who like a real stiff feel at contact, will gravitate to the XENO.
A lot of the 2019 literature for the XENO talks about a new ultra light X-Cap for the end cap. But, we see this on the 2018 version as well. Not sure if this is a misprint or misunderstanding. But, we don’t think the end cap is new.
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.