2018 Rawlings 5150 Bat Review
The 2018 Rawlings 5150 is an affordable one piece alloy bat. It features slightly endloaded swing weight with an average sized barrel. Just like the 2018 Rawlings Velo, the 2018 5150 is essentially a carryover from last year with new cosmetics.
Rawlings’ 2018 5150 gives off the same vibe as its brother, the Velo. The barrel has a matte black body with touches of sky blue, silver, and gray. The lettering and sky blue lines are slightly raised and give the bat some texture.
The handle is mostly matte black and split by a sky blue stripe. The grip is black and speckled with sky blue indentations.
The handle has a slight taper into the traditional shaped knob. The knob is narrower and provides average comfort for your bottom hand.
The Rawlings grip is one of my favorite stock grips.The grip is pretty firm but is still comfortable in your hands. It features a repeating pattern of indented shapes that allow you to really get a grip on the handle.
The 5150 is designed to have a slightly endloaded weight distribution. This is partially a result of a longer barrel. It’s difficult to make a larger barrel out of alloy, and Rawlings went through a lot in order to maximize barrel size while eliminating extra weight. They were able to pull it off in part because of their trademark pOp 2.0 technology, which is basically a laser cut groove down the length of the barrel that minimizes weight without affecting durability. In a nutshell, the 5150 is a Velo that sacrifices swing weight for extra barrel mass.
The 5150 is hot out of the wrapper and makes the typical Rawling’s PING on contact. This is a bat that should come with earplugs because your ears are ringing after the first swing. The one-piece construction caused it to be very stiff through the swing and at contact. There was a lot of vibration on mishits but not quite as much as there is with the Velo. I enjoyed swinging with the slight endload. It’s still pretty easy to control but allows you to get a bit more mass behind the ball.
The Rawlings 5150 is a great option for a heavier swinging one-piece, which are uncommon these days. I would expect to see these on field at a lot of college programs with Rawlings sponsorships. The bat was fun to swing and is more proof that Rawlings creates some of the best one-piece bats out there.