Rawlings’ claim that their hand-loaded version is significantly ‘balanced’ sells this bat short.
2015 Velo Video
2015 Velo Models
Our hitters like the light swing and long barrel of the 2015 Rawlings VELO. It’s a no-frills bat and it’s price point and popularity show as much. But, it also works just fine in each of its leagues and great hitters will have nothing to complain about.
The 2015 Rawlings Velo end-loaded version is the same exact exterior shell as the hand-loaded version of the bat but its internal weight is distributed more towards the end cap. From a measurement standpoint, it weighs in as one of the lighter ‘end-loaded’ bats for 2015. Not nearly as heavy to swing as Easton’s XL1 but with a little more drag than Baden’s Axe Avenge.
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The bat has so much weight in the handle it feels almost strange the first time you swing it–especially if you’ve spent a lot of time swinging other bats also labeled balanced like the Marucci Cat 6 (which we think is a true ‘balanced’ bat—not hand-loaded). Swinging the hand-loaded version of the Velo is especially remarkably if you swung a lot of end-load like the 915 Prime from Slugger or DeMarini’s OverLord FT.
Rawlings’ claim that the light swinging VELO version is in a “class of its own” due to the effect the bi-fusion end cap helps them create is a bit of a stretch. Our measurements showed DeMarini’s CF7 and Anderson’s Flex to have similar swing weights–although all three are clearly in the hand-loaded category with the Flex as #1, Velo as #2, and CF7 as #3 (according to our calculations).
So if it’s not sting-free and the benefits of the exterior shell are removed by the distribution of the weight inside toward the end cap then why does it exist? Good question and, quite frankly, according to most vendors (even the very biggest in the bat space) it doesn’t. Few carry this bat. It’s like pickles and ice cream. They both make sense separately, but on the same plate, no one wants to touch it.
The benefit of the fused carbon composite end cap on an aluminum barrel is to create a bat with a really low swing weight. Which begs the question as to why Rawlings goes through the trouble of making a light swinging bat exterior and then fills the end cap with weight to make it an end-loaded feel in the BBRVE?