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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
After considerable time in the cage, direct feedback from hitters at different levels of the sport and discussions about the upgrades with several in the know, we present our 2017 Rawlings Quatro bat review in both Senior League and BBCOR.
The 2017 Rawlings Quatro is the same as the 2018 Rawlings Quatro. This bat was only produced in BBCOR and was a late release. It was also a limited run production and considering the bat has a propensity to break it is a very rare find. However, it’s a legit bat and worth picking up if you can find one but don’t be mad at us when it breaks. Until that time, however, it will drop bombs.
There are a few two piece composite bats with a balanced swing and some innovation at the connective piece. The leaders in the space include Louisville Slugger’s 917 Prime—which first pimped the “Three Piece” bat design in 2015. From the 2015 model to the 2017 model, Slugger has consistently strengthened the connective piece (they call this TRU3).
Slugger’s upgrade focus on a stiffer transition gives at least a bit of pause to Rawlings touting significant flex in its first run at a ‘three piece’ bat.
Other light swinging two piece composite bats are the Easton MAKO Beast and the DeMarini CF Zen. Both emphasize their connective design which can, they claim, deliver an ultra smooth swing with optimal power.
The Quatro is a new line of bats for Rawlings in 2017. In the Rawlings line, you will not find a similar BBCOR bat from year’s past. In the 2 3/4 Big Barrel version, the VELO Composite from 2016 is somewhat similar, although it lacks the silicone collar around the connective piece.
Other models in the line, like the VELO, TRIO and 5150, are not very similar to the Quatro. The composite end cap on those bats has taken over the entire barrel in the Quatro. The composite handle could be found in the TRIO, but not the 5150 or VELO. The connective collar piece is entirely new in the space.
At its core, the 2017 Rawlings Quatro is a two piece composite bat with a centering balance as close to the hands as possible. This gives the bat a large barrel and a light swing. Rawlings added a silicone collar within the connective area of the handle and barrel. This feature dampens sting on mishits and the general idea has been used in several other brands, confirming it works.
One could assume the name Quatro means a four-piece bat—just as the Trio from 2015 and 2016 was a three piece bat—yet this is not the case. The Quatro is officially a three piece bat: the handle, the barrel and the transition piece.
Every vendor site we’ve read claims the 2017 Quatro allows for flex between barrel and handle to increase ‘accelerated bat speed through contact’. They all must simply be copying from the same Rawlings adslick.
Sadly, this idea of ‘bat whip’, or bat acceleration, is a terrible misconception about two piece bats. Two piece bats DO NOT flex on the down swing (like a golf club) to store up bat speed for impact. Instead, two piece bats flex at impact. The flex actually delivers less power to the ball, but feels better on the hands. This is one reason better hitters use one piece bats (or bats with very stiff transitions). Don’t be fooled by such silliness.
Rawlings is also claiming this is the first composite barrelled bat they’ve made. In the BBCOR space that is true enough. The Quatro is Rawling’s first BBCOR composite barrel. However, they did produce a two piece composite design in the Big Barrel space (2 3/4) just last year. It was called the VELO Composite.
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.