In 2014 Rawlings proudly introduced a bat with three distinct pieces: a composite handle, 5150 alloy barrel and composite end cap. All three were welded together in a new bat line for the behemoth company and was christened, fittingly, the Trio. The bat was very well received among Rawlings lovers and those looking for a light swinging bat with good barrel size.
The Trio was received so well , in fact, Rawlings reprinted the bat with updated graphics but left the design largely intact for the 2015 Rawlings Trio. The 2015 Trio comes in two versions: a balanced/light swing (“balanced”) and a deeper balance point/swing weight (“end-loaded”). Our tests found the bat (both the 2014 version and the 2015 version) to perform admirably. The balanced swing is similar to the DeMarini CF7 in swing weight although, unlike the CF7, the Trio has a recognizable ping on the aluminum alloy barrel like the 715 from Slugger.Rawlings has done a lot to market the idea of an advantage of three distinct pieces forming a single baseball bat, and in theory the idea is nice enough. A composite handle and end cap to produce the right amount of swing weight and the aluminum alloy barrel to produce the traditional ping and pop of old school bats.
In practice, however, we are not convinced that the design is, in and of itself, particularly advantageous over the list of other high end bats in the market–especially the two piece bat market which have, like the Trio, a balanced feel with composite handle and aluminum barrel (S2, Vexxum). We are not convinced the composite end cap plays any significant advantage over its peers in lowering the swing weight or extending the length of the barrel–at least the eye and cage test of other high end two piece bats give the TRIO an above average barrel size and below average swing weight.
This doesn’t mean we don’t like the bat. The Trio is a legit stick with great plate coverage and a butter like swing. Those who like a light swing with massive plate coverage and also want the ping of traditional aluminum at contact should have the Trio on their short list. The fact there were virtually no changes in the 2015 version coming from the 2014 model forces reason to buy this one instead of this one.
Rumor is Rawlings is working on a 4 piece bat called the Quatro for the 2016 season. That bat, like the rest, will be reviewed here as soon as we can.
We recommend the Rawlings 2015 Trio for hitters who: Prefer a light swing with massive plate coverage; prefer sting dampening; can’t find a cheaper 2014 version with the same conditions (warranty); want to accentuate their contact skills (vs bomb dropping skills).
We do not recommend the Rawlings 2015 Trio for hitters who: Want a bomb dropping bat; hit in the power line up holes (3/4, 4 or 4/5); prefer once piece bats; prefer immediate feedback (read sting) on mishits.