The newest three-piece hybrid bat design from Louisville Slugger has arrived in the form of the Select PWR -3 BBCOR, which the brand says has a large and responsive sweet spot to pair with a stiffer feel.
Louisville Slugger first created a three-piece bat in 2014 with the Attack and Raid, but the research and development team has continued to work on the three-piece engineering to move beyond eliminating sting to creating a bat with a stiffer handle to enhance power, blending both feel and power together.
“The original design was all about eliminating the bat sting to allow players to have the confidence to go all out on their swing without the fear of getting wrung up if they mishit,” says Jim Earley, Louisville Slugger global director of innovation. “This was a huge success for all categories and levels of play, but some of the elite players were requesting a stiffer handle to ensure the most efficient transfer of energy from the barrel to the ball.”
Earley says the challenge when trying to stiffen the handle is that it typically results in increased vibration. But after years of research the three-piece design transitioned into featuring a 3FX connection feature from Louisville Slugger, allowing the team to dramatically increase the stiffness of the connection while maintaining the feel.
“The patented 3FX connection gives the stiffness of a one-piece while giving hitters the feel of a two-piece,” Earley says.
The new Select PWR features a composite handle and EXD alloy barrel a half-inch longer than most traditional BBCOR bats, giving the bat a larger sweet spot. The bat’s power swing weight provides hitters with increased momentum and maximum distance, the brand says.
The 3FX-PWR Connection System with a VTX ring was designed to transfer energy to improve the feel while a specially designed end cap helps turn momentum into power.
The $400 bat also includes the LS Pro Comfort Grip, a mix of tack and cushion, and comes in four different bat sizes.
“Players loved the Select PWR’s blend of feel and power last year,” says Jake Misener, marketing manager, “and it’s great to see the enthusiasm for this year’s model has only grown since then.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.