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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Few bats have more traction in the high performance bat space than the 5150. That’s because it has a lot of things going for it. First, it has a great pedigree. Second, it has a nice price point for a high end bat. And third, its reviews, year after year, have always been stellar.
The 5150 title, named after the type of alloy used in the bats, has been used for several generations of alloy bats made by Rawlings. Originally, as far as we can tell, in 2009 Rawlings was using 5150 to help describe their original exogrid.
Since that time, the original 5150 arrived in early 2012 (Serial #BBCA) and then a color up from that version in 2013 (BBCA2). Followed by what was probably 5150’s most successful iteration yet in 2014 (BB513 Black).
This allows the 5150 to have a lighter swing weight—as its end cap weight is composite material. As a result, the 2015 version of the 5150 has a marked swing weight decrease compared to its predecessors (2013, 2014).
Based on early reports, there are more than just a few 5150 lovers who aren’t very happy with this years version. We, on the other hand, like the idea of a lighter swinging one piece with the Velo’s end cap in the sub $200 range.
Depending on who you ask, the 2015 model did come with an upgrade (beside the obvious paint job color up). The end cap on the 5150 has become just like the Rawlings VELO end cap. This means, in part, the end cap–which is made of composite–is now fused onto the barrel of the bat.
No doubt about the 5150 from 2014 was stellar bat with fantastic ratings. It may take some time for the new comp-lite end cap of the 5150 to catch on to 5150 aficionados–but with the full might and power of Rawlings behind this market saturating one piece we expect folks will eventually come around.
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.