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By Bat Digest
Updated August 27, 2023
Hitters who like the 2021 Rawlings VELO appreciate the light swing, long barrel, and loud ping of traditional alloy. For 2021, BBCOR players that want one of the lightest swinging bats per inch on the market will appreciate this. However, it's single-piece design does give more feedback during mishits than some appreciate. Still, though, the player looking for a stiff, single-piece alloy with a light swing will be happy with the Rawlings VELO 2021.
The Rawlings Velo for 2021 in BBCOR is built for the early lineup hitter who wants as much bat speed as possible. Elite level hitters who can barrel up balls with the VELO will do as well with it as they can any bat. BBCOR bats have narrowed the performance gap considerably, so don't expect the VELO or any other BBCOR bat to outperform their peers to any considerable degree. Compared to the 2020, expect a thinner handle and a redesigned barrel for a different sound and a bit longer barrel profile.
The 2021 Velo has a redesigned barrel and handles that make a thinner handle and a bigger barrel. It sounds a bit different than in years past too. No longer should you expect the loud ping. Still, though, both 2021 and 2020 VELO use a single-piece design with an extended composite end cap, variable wall thickness on the barrel to make it longer without sacrificing swing weight and vibration dampening urethane infused handle. Much of that information is marketing speak, but fundamentally the bat hasn't changed much over the years---and that's a good thing. After all, there is a reason Rawlings continues to produce a Velo.
Rawlings refers to the VELO as a Hybrid. In the traditional sense, it is not. Hybrid bats are made from a composite handle and an alloy barrel. Rawlings refers to their VELO as a hybrid because it has an extended composite end cap. However, all bat's use some plastic end cap. Rawlings, we assume, thinks there is a bit different because their end cap is extended into the barrel's length by 2-inches. However, other bats use this mechanism and do not call the bat a hybrid. The Slugger SOLO, as one example, also uses an extended composite end cap but does not refer to it as a hybrid bat. They leave the title for a bat like the Select series, which is a traditional hybrid.