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LOUISVILLE, KY – (April 1, 2013) - MLB Prime™, the new line of wood bats from Louisville Slugger® – the Official Bat of Major League Baseball® – brings the American spirit of innovation and the unmatched quality of hand craftsmanship together like never before, creating the hardest wood bats ever.

In 2013 MLB Players will be swinging bats with MLB Prime innovations and markings that denote what makes them different. In addition, the end brand on MLB Prime bats is dramatically different, changing from the horizontal orientation used for more than 100 years to one that is rectangular with the player’s name inside.

Louisville Slugger’s new wood bats are designed with the latest technology, but made the old-fashioned way – right here in America. Local craftsmen use the absolute best wood, sourced from New York and Pennsylvania, to craft the best bats on the market today.

Available in ash and maple, MLB Prime bats are 9H rated – the highest rating possible on the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) 21-level universal hardness scale used to measure film hardness. That’s significantly harder than competitors’ wood bats. What’s that mean to players? Quite simply, confidence when they step up to the plate. That’s because Louisville Slugger MLB Prime bats are the hardest bats in Major League Baseball history.

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime wood bats feature four innovations that make them harder than any other bats: Veneer wood, Amish craftsmanship, 360-degree compression and the advanced finish system.

Veneer wood is the highest-grade wood available. Amish craftsmanship is the method in which the timber is milled – hands-on work, with very little to no automated equipment used to mill the raw timber. Another feature of Amish craftsmanship is the new vacuum-drying process, drying wood more consistently to make MLB Prime more durable.

The 360-degree compression process is conducted inside an exclusive machine that guarantees 360 degrees of hardness and no soft spots. Lastly, the advanced finish system fills the grain for a harder feel and appearance. Three layers of topcoat are applied to seal the bat, giving it the hardest finish of wood bats with a 9H rating.

Some of these hit-making innovations were included in the bats swung by Louisville Slugger’s Prime 9 in 2012: Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Derek Jeter, Buster Posey, Curtis Granderson, Ian Kinsler, Jay Bruce, Alex Rodriguez and Evan Longoria, but without the MLB Prime markings and new end brand. Now MLB Prime innovations are available for all MLB players as well as amateur players too. MLB Prime bats retail for $119.95.

About Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger® is synonymous with baseball and softball. It is the leading brand in diamond sports. The company makes the #1 Bat in Major League Baseball, bats that are swung by the best of the best – Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Curtis Granderson and David Wright, among hundreds of other current MLB stars. They've all joined in Louisville Slugger's storied history to become part of a "Slugger Guy" fraternity that includes the greatest hitters to ever step up to the plate – Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, George Brett, Tony Gwynn and Ken Griffey Jr., to name just a few. Louisville Slugger also makes industry-leading equipment for youth, high school and college players. It sponsors top-level NCAA Division 1 baseball programs, including the 2012 National Champion Arizona Wildcats.

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