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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We know almost nothing about the 2023 Rawlings Proto – Aluminum Tech Bat. Our guess is that this is a Prototype bat that they wanted some of their high-level baseball teams to use at the college level. We have no confirmation from Rawlings about the availability of the bat, but it isn’t uncommon for brands to release bats to get feedback. Will it be called the Proto-Aluminum Tech? That seems unlikely, instead, and this is our guess, it will be rebranded once they’ve dialed in the player’s feedback. When it will be available to the public? Your guess is as good as ours, but it does seem crazy to get approval on a bat to be used in the NCAA tourney only to turn around and shelve the bat for a year or two. We’d expect the live version of this bat in the fall of 2022, but that’s nothing more than a guess.
The bat is only approved for BBCOR in a 34 for now, but that’s likely because it’s just a prototype. If they do move forward with it then you can expect more sizes.
If this is a single-piece alloy bat, and the guys on DBU and others who were swinging the 5150 and VELO switched over, then we would expect it to be a stiff-feeling bat with a mild endload and a good-sized barrel. But, at this point, anyone’s guess is as good as ours. We’ll keep this page updated as we learn more.
Is this bat the updated 5150? The updated VELO? Or something entirely different? We do believe it is a single-piece alloy bat so it likely won’t replace the Quatro Pro or Quatro Pro Max. In any case, after some big-name college programs last year, which were Rawlings schools, were seen using pre-2015 BBCOR bats from Rawlings they no doubt felt the pressure to make something serious.
The bat sounds wood/composite-like. But, it is most certainly designated as an approved ‘metal’ BBCOR bat, as opposed to a composite barrel. At least on TV the barrel size looks good and the fact that 6 of the 9 players on DBU had switched to it by the end of May shows it’s clearly going to be a good BBCOR bat. How it’s rolled out and sold to the public will be interesting to track.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.