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<< Baseball Reviews << Rawlings Reviews

2018 Rawlings VELO Review

By Bat Digest | Last Updated August 2, 2022


Aside from the color design, there are no considerable differences between the 2018 VELO and the 2017 version, including our opinion that it is a great buy.


2018 Velo Video

2018 Velo Video

2018 Velo Models


We used the 2018 BBCOR version of the bat in a few tournaments across several different players with nearly unanimous approval. Our hitters like the loud sound, light swing, and real stiff feel. Some hitters didn’t think it had the power of some other bats, but our exit speeds showed differently. They preferred the grip on the Velo over most bats. 

BBCOR
/10
USA –10
/10
USA –5
/10
USSSA –12
/10
USSSA –10
/10
USSSA –5
/10

General Recomendations

The 2018 Rawlings VELO is made for hitters that want a single piece feel and a light swing. Most light swing hitters like the feel of two-piece bats and most heavy hitters prefer a heavier swing. But, if you’re one of the many who like a stiff feel but still prefer a light swing than the 2018 Rawlings VELO is a legitimate choice. You can expect great durability, too.

Model Recommendations

BB8V3

BBCOR Review

Velo BBCOR Ratings (key)
2 3 4 4 2 4 5 5 4 4
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 31, 32, 32, 33, 33, 34-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: BB8V3
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
See other BBCOR Bats
US8V10

USA Drop 10 Review

Velo USA Drop 10 Ratings (key)
2 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 3
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: US8V10
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
See other Drop 10 USA Bats Bats
US855

USA Drop 5 Review

Velo USA Drop 5 Ratings (key)
2 4 5 4 3 3 2 3 3 3
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: US855
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
See other Drop 10 USA Bats Bats
UT8V34

USSSA Drop 12 Review

Velo Hybrid USSSA Drop 12 Ratings (key)
1 2 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 3
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 27, 28, 29, 30-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: UT8V34
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 3/4
UT10V34

USSSA Drop 10 Review

Velo Hybrid USSSA Drop 10 Ratings (key)
2 3 4 4 2 3 4 4 5 3
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: UT10V34
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 3/4
See other Drop 10 USSSA Bats
UT8534

USSSA Drop 5 Review

Velo Hybrid USSSA Drop 5 Ratings (key)
2 4 5 4 3 3 2 3 3 3
MOI Tech Drb Flx Prof ReSl PlaRa ExVe Relv Dmnd

OVERALL/10
Sizing: 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Serial: UT8534
Bat Type: Single Piece Alloy
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
See other Drop 5 USSSA Bats

Comparable Bats

The Rawlings Velo was the first bat to use variable wall thickness to create a lighter swinging bat with a bigger barrel in the aluminum space.

Since, however, many have flat copied the idea. And although none of those copy-cats have added the POP 2.0 groove to their bat’s inside (like the VELO did for the 2017 and beyond models), we consider those others at least somewhat comparable bats.

Do note that the CAT 7 does NOT use a composite end cap. Also note that the Slugger 618 uses a composite end cap on an aluminum bat, but forgoes the variable wall thickness.

Previous Models

There are no differences, aside from the color, between the 2017 and 2018 Rawlings VELO.

We should note, however, the size offerings are different. The VELO can be found in a USAbat this year, and last year those did not exist.

Construction

The Rawlings VELO is a single piece bat that uses variable wall thickness and a groove on the inside of the barrel to create a light swinging bat with a big barrel.

Using clever means to decrease swing weight while maintaining durability and barrel size is the principal task of bat engineers. The Rawlings VELO pioneered the technique of using variable wall thickness to accomplish a bigger barrel without affecting swing weight. In the 2017 version, Rawlings rolled out POP 2.0 technology (their term, not ours) which removes even more volume from the inner barrel by creating a groove lengthwise inside the barrel. This managed to drop the swing weight even lower while leaving room for a larger barrel.

Without argument, the VELO is the most advanced aluminum bat on the market.

In addition to the inner barrel make-up, they also use an extended composite end cap to further reduce swing weight.​ This extended composite end cap is their justification for using the word “hybrid” on the side of the barrel. It is not a “hybrid” in the traditional sense of the term, or as we generally use it on this site. That is, it does not have a composite handle and an aluminum barrel.

Overall Ratings

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
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.
Price
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
Type
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.
Date
The estimated date the bat began distribution.

2018 Rawlings Velo User Reviews

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