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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
The 2018 Rawlings 5150 is a classically designed single piece aluminum bat with enough innovation to consider it a performance bat.
We recommend it to the value purchase player and/or the elite hitter who wants a traditional stiff feel with a slightly heavier swinging bat. After hours in the cage and a few games with a few different hitters we put together our 2018 Rawlings 5150 Review.
Here are some bullet points describing who may or may not like the Rawlings 5150.
There are a lot of single piece aluminum bats on the market. None, however, use the POP 2.0 tech that adds a laser groove on the inner barrel.
Some, however, do use variable wall thickness to produce a larger barrel and a lighter swing spot. We would suggest the following to bats as competitors to the 5150 market share. Those include:
Marucci CAT 7
Axe Hyperwhip Fusion
Aside from the paint job, there are no differences between the 2017 and 2018 Rawlings 5150.
Although no changes in construction, there are differences in sizing options. In particular, the addition of the USAbat model is significant. We discuss those under the sizing section of this article.
The 5150 uses a single piece of aluminum to create a stiff feeling and slightly end-loaded swing. Although most vendors consider this in the “balanced” section, as it is, one should not confuse it with the light swing of a Rawlings VELO or DeMarini CF Zen, for example. The 5150 swings markedly heavier than those bats but not quite as heavy as bats like the Easton Z-Core XL or Louisville Slugger 718 Select.
What makes the 5150 unique, and helps drive the well sized barrel, is the use of a tapered inner barrel. That is, if you were to cut the barrel in half you’d see the bat used different levels of thickness along the barrel wall. This variable wall thickness is tuned to deliver high performance off the center of the barrel, decrease mass and allow for a larger barrel without sacrificing swing speed.
Additionally, as was new to the 2017 Rawlings 5150, Rawlings created a laser groove down the horizontal portion of the inner barrel. This groove further reduces swing weight without sacrificing durability. And, as such, allows for a more dialed in swing weight with an even larger barrel still.
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.