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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
Experience: After 2 hours in the cage with the 2016 Rawlings TRIO (Amazon $249) we can verify its prowess. Our first thought, of note, was how surprised we were that we don’t see this bat more often. It’s hot out of the wrapper—using the same 5150 alloy barrel the very popular Rawlings VELO and Rawlings 5150 use—and serves a very large segment of the market in a light swing weight. Why a hot-out-the-wrapper light swinging bat isn’t on more people’s radar is puzzling to us.
Player Reviews: Other Rawlings TRIO reviews we scoured the internet for confirmed what we found in the 2-hour cage session. Players like the balance and feel through contact. Almost all felt the pop of the bat, at least in the first few months of owning the bat, was unrivaled. A few naysayers disliked the 2015 grip (saying it wore out too quickly) and even fewer had problems with cracking at the transition. Both of these can be easily remedied by buying with a valid receipt (for warranty) and checking out a lizard skin grip—but their concerns were duly noted by us and reported here.
Recommendations: The 2016 TRIO is both light swinging and hot out of the wrapper. The ping on the bat, in 5150 fashion, is remarkably loud. Ultimately, The TRIO is built for BBCOR players who are looking for a light swinging hybrid bat. In fact, if you are looking for the lightest swinging hybrid bat then the Rawlings TRIO is for you.
Similar Bats: In comparison, this extended composite end cap on the alloy barrel of a hybrid bat can only also be found in the 2015 Boombah Cannon. Both bats have similar swing weight too although the TRIO has a longer max barrel width. Other than the Boombah, the unique construction of the TRIO puts it in a different construction category than major brands marquee bats. Hybrid bats from Easton, DeMarini and Slugger don’t have the extended composite end caps. Nor do they have a variable thickness in their barrel to help decrease the swing weight.
Construction: Compared to the previous year’s models (like the 2015 Rawlings TRIO), the only change is a larger barrel that has variable wall thickness. This means Rawlings has thinned certain parts of the barrel to give it a larger sweet spot without affecting swing weight. The sweet spot in 2016 is about 20% bigger compared to the 2015 version. (This same change happened in the 2016 Rawlings VELO). Aside from that considerable change, the Trio is still is a three-piece bat composed of a composite handle, 5150 aluminum alloy barrel, and the same extended end cap found on the 2016 5150 and 2016 VELO.
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.