Louisville Slugger is ready for 2022. The fresh performance bat lineup for the new year launches Nov. 24 and includes new models in the Meta, Meta PWR, Omaha, Select PWR and Solo lines.
“The 2022 lineup is really all about making sure every type of player has the perfect bat,” says Jake Misener, Louisville Slugger product manager. The models come in the BBCOR, USSSA and USA Baseball designations and include customization opportunities.
The 2022 Meta BBCOR offers what the brand calls an easy-swinging, balanced composite bat for a blend of performance and feel. It was designed with a 3FX Connection System for a stiff feel and a GT1 End Cap to maximize barrel length. The USSA version features the same EKO Composite barrel as the BBCOR version.
“EKO Composite is our patented barrel design which utilizes aerospace-grade carbon fiber,” says James Earley, Louisville Slugger director of innovation. “It is built so that it has maximum performance out of the wrapper.”
The Meta and Meta PWR both feature EKO Composite material, which gets crafted by stacking individual layers of composite material on top of one another. Each new layer is stacked slightly offset the preceding layer, leading to higher strength in the final product, Earley says. It also offers up a unique sound on contact.
Using a GT1 End Cap, the low-profile design pairs with the EKO Composite to maximize barrel length and elongate the sweet spot.
The Meta PWR increases the stiffness to improve maximum exit velocity for strong high school and college players needing a powerful BBCOR version while the Meta One is designed for the youngest players on the USSSA circuit with a light and balanced swing weight to improve barrel control.
“The Meta is perfect for that contact hitter and we fine-tuned the Meta PWR to be even stiffer with a more end-loaded feel,” Misener says. “It’s definitely more for the power hitters.”
The 3FX Connection found throughout a range of bats is meant to offer a stiff feel through the swing. “Players kept asking for a stiff connection with little to no vibration,” Earley says. “That is what the 3FX Connection delivers.”
The hybrid Select PWR for BBCOR features EXD Alloy, a three-piece design with a rigid composite handle, stiff 3FX-PWR Connection System and alloy barrel with weight placed near the end cap to help maximize exit velocity.
“Select PWR really took off last year with the resurgence of alloy in the game,” Misener says.
The Solo, for both BBCOR and USSSA, is one of two one-piece alloy bats in the lineup and was engineered to maximize swing speed and barrel control. Using the brand’s Premium SL Hyper Alloy Barrel with a balanced design, Slugger says contact-oriented hitters can put the ball in play with ease. The new SPD Composite End Cap elongates the barrel profile for a more consistent contact.
The Omaha offers up the second one-piece alloy bat, this one designed for maximum stiffness to mirror the feel of a wood bat. The MX 7U1+ Alloy Barrel pairs with a Vibex vibration-dampening handle.
The USA Baseball models include Prime, Omaha and Solo.
The 2022 bats all feature updated graphics and colors ranging from orange to gunmetal gray. Joe Cmelik, Louisville Slugger product line manager, says the aesthetic approach was about finding a way to tie the bat families to each other while also making them easily stand apart. “We brought in some more bold colors and premium finishes to help with that,” he says, “while bringing them together in the graphic elements that use the first letter of the bat names to create the graphic packages. That creates a common theme across the bats while still allowing people to easily tell the difference between them from far away.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.