In this review, we’ll look at the Louisville Slugger Meta. The 2020 version seems to be the best BBCOR bat on the market. We’ll look at how the Meta has maintained its claim as one of the best bats in the industry.
The Louisville Slugger Meta is a -3 BBCOR bat that is a three-piece composite. The barrel itself is made with EKO composite technology which is designed for balance and barrel performance. The truth is, if you used the 2019 Meta, you know what you’re getting. There really haven’t been any significant changes to the bat this year. If we’re being honest, the 2019 model was one of the best bats in the game, why change anything?
If you’re researching online, you’ll find that the Meta comes in 3 models- the Meta, the Meta PWR and the Meta GLD.
The different models have relatively small changes. The Meta is the standard model that features a balanced swing weight. The Meta PWR is more end-loaded and designed for power hitters. The Meta GLD is the same as the Meta (balanced swing weight) but has a gold, almost glittery look to it.
What we like about the 2020 Meta:
1. EKO barrel
The EKO barrel is one of the most responsive barrels we’ve found. It offers the best of both worlds as it is lightweight but still offers a lot of pop. The EKO barrel offers the perfect ping that players have gotten used to over the years.
2. Weight distribution
This seems like something minor, but it shows how specialized the game has become. As mentioned before, the Meta is balanced and offers a true swing weight while the Meta PWR is a bit more end-loaded and offers more for power hitters. I like that Louisville is listing both bats at the same price (around $500).
A quick lesson on MOI: it’s used to measure the inertia a bat creates. Having a lower score (540) means the bat is designed for bat control. The higher end (1200) is designed for power and distance. The Meta PWR has a 4-6% increase in MOI depending on what length you’re using. That may not sound like much, but 6% on a deep fly ball could be the difference between an out and a game winning homerun. Preference really comes down to your profile as a hitter though.
3. Vibration reduction and comfort
Louisville brought back the 3FX connection. It’s the piece that connects the barrel to the handle. It’s one of the best in the game at reducing vibration on a bad hit. When you combine that with Louisville Slugger’s grip tape, it makes for a great feel in your hands. When you’re comfortable with the bat in your hand, you’ll have more confidence.
4. The visuals
Louisville was smart to put an emphasis on making their bat look good this year. The electric blue is a beautiful, eye-catching design. For those who like the gold, you could say the same thing. In a year where there wasn’t much they could do to improve the bat, I think the new cosmetics were a great option.
What we don’t really like about the 2020 Meta:
I understand the idea of supply and demand. This is, arguably, the best BBCOR bat in 2020, so the price is going to be through the roof. Where we really have to question that is the idea that adding gold paint to a bat makes it worth an extra $100.
Somehow, people have been willing to pay for it. Because of that, the Meta GLD is extremely difficult to find. It’s actually sold out on most websites. I don’t understand the gimmick, but if people are happy with it, who am I to judge? We’d recommend that you save your money and stick with the Meta or Meta PWR.
If you search through any number of sites, you’ll consistently find that pricing is the only complaint that most consumers have. So, if you can afford it, this is the bat to get.
2. Lack of upgrades
Some people have questioned the new models. It doesn’t seem like Louisville really made any upgrades outside of a new paint job. While a number of customers see that as an issue, I think it’s a good thing. When you’ve got the best BBCOR bat in the game, why would you make an adjustment that could lose that title?
Truth be told, I think it’s great that Louisville didn’t change anything. I’ll take the old “If it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. Keep doing what works until there’s something worth changing for.
The 2020 Louisville Meta is the best baseball bat on the market. We’ve consistently heard that the Meta is better than the Meta PWR for whatever reason. I’d recommend the original model for most players. Given the quality of the bat, the pop in the barrel, and the sleek design, this is my favorite bat on the market in 2020.
The quality and cosmetics of the bat seem to build a hitter’s confidence. Remember, Yogi Berra famously said, “90% of the game is half mental”. If you believe that, the value of that confidence may be worth the cost of the bat.
The Meta has surpassed the Rawlings Quatro since we did an early article in the fall. Both are great bats, but if you’re willing to pay for a high-end bat, you should opt for the Meta instead.