The Louisville name is synonymous with baseball bats and in reviews it’s impossible to separate them. Unfortunately they’ve been fighting an uphill battle in the industry to regain the top spot in the industry. The problem has been in the 100% composite category where they have failed to manufacture a bat that has caught on. Last year they took a step in the right direction with the Z-1000 composite. It has received much more acceptance and you’ll actually see college players using it. They’re hopeful it will become a staple in their line-up with the long running Omaha and Exogrid.
No surprise that Louisville is sticking to a one-piece stiff handle design for their 2013 line-up. They finally got the message last year and returned to the design that has defined and what people expect from them. All bats listed below are BBCOR Certified for high school and collegiate ball or approved for play in Little League, Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, and USSSA depending on the model/size.
The 2013 TPX Exogrid 3 is back for it’s sixth year. It is their best selling bat and has been vital to keeping sales moving. The design is the same, a hybrid model with an internal carbon composite sleeve in the handle that makes it their siffest handle. The alloy barrel is made from the same AC21 alloy from last year and the composite sleeve is made from their LS-2X composite material. The same material as last year. The change for 2013 is that they are now claiming it has the “lowest swing weight available” for a 2 5/8″ barrel BBCOR model. It has been promoted as a balanced bat in the past, so this is a change they felt was important. They claim the lower swing weight is due to the “innovative new Composite Flex Band Technology.” As said, this is their best selling baseball bat and most college players, who’s team swings Louisville, chooses the Exo. A solid choice for both power and singles hitters. It is available in Adult, Senior and Youth models. The Adult model retails for $299.
The Omaha has been a staple in the Louisville line-up for over 10 years and it’s back for 2013. Let me be clear in saying there is absolutely nothing new for the 2013 model. It is still is a one-piece model made from their older ST+20 alloy with a stiff handle. But… they are also claiming it “features the lowest swing weight bat on the market.” Again a change from their balanced design claims in the past. This begs the question, does the Exo or Omaha have the lowest swing weight? The folks at Louisville need to provide some detail here or it comes across as pure hype. This bat has been a consistent player for many years and is a great option for those looking for a 100% alloy bat. Keep in mind many players in college baseball swing the Omaha, so don’t be fooled by the lower price and 100% alloy material. Available in Adult, Senior and Youth models. The Adult-3 model retails for $199.
The Catalyst was Louisville’s original 100% composite bat back in the day. It is available for 2013 in Youth and Senior League models. It is a one-piece 100% composite bat with a stiff handle made with their older C1C composite material. They claim it’s designed to provide the longest barrel and largest sweet spot on the market. The impressive feature of the Senior League model is comes in a -12 weight drop which is far lower than other bats in this category. I’d recommend passing on the Catalyst and go with one of the newer models. There has been so much change with composite bats over the last few years and I would avoid the older material. It is available in Senior and Youth models. The Senior model retails for $199.
The 2013 Vertex -13 youth baseball bat has an extra long barrel for a supposed “20% longer sweet spot”. It is a one-piece hybrid design that bonds the LS2X composite handle to the AC21 alloy barrel. Can anyone say H2! Yes this was the same design that Louisville used on their ill fated H2 bats. In case you forgot the bat was promoted as a two-piece bat fused together to become a one-piece bat. You can look at my reviews of the H2 here. Or you can just stay away from the Vertex.
There has not been any information provided yet on the 2013 Z-1000 100% composite bat. We’re assuming this will be a part of the line-up and just hasn’t been introduced yet.
The 2013 Louisville baseball bats will be ready to ship in November and you can pre-order at Baseball Express.