Experience: After 2 hours in the cage with the 2016 Rawlings TRIO (Amazon $249) we can verify its prowess. Our first thought, of note, was how surprised we were that we don’t see this bat more often. It’s hot out of the wrapper—using the same 5150 alloy barrel the very popular Rawlings VELO and Rawlings 5150 use—and serves a very large segment of the market in a light swing weight. Why a hot-out-the-wrapper light swinging bat isn’t on more people’s radar is puzzling to us.
Player Reviews: Other Rawlings TRIO reviews we scoured the internet for confirmed what we found in the 2 hour cage session. Players like the balance and the feel through contact. Almost all felt the pop of the bat, at least in the first few months of owning the bat, was unrivaled. A few naysayers disliked the 2015 grip (saying it wore out too quickly) and a even fewer had problems with cracking at the transition. Both of these can be easily remedied by buying with a valid receipt (for warranty) and checking out a lizard skin grip—but their concerns were duly noted by us and reported here.
Sizing: The 2016 TRIO, like the 2015 version before it, only comes in a BBCOR 34, 33 and 32 inch version made for collegiate and highschool play. These bats are, of course, drop 3.
Construction: Compared to previous year’s models (like the 2015 Rawlings TRIO), the only change is a larger barrel that has variable wall thickness. This means Rawlings has thinned certain parts of the barrel to give it a larger sweet spot without effecting swing weight. The sweet spot in 2016 is about 20% bigger compared to the 2015 version. (This same change happened in the 2016 Rawlings VELO). Aside from that considerable change, the Trio is still is a three piece bat composed of a composite handle, 5150 aluminum alloy barrel and the same extended end cap found on the 2016 5150 and 2016 VELO.
Similar Bats: In comparison, this extended composite end cap on the alloy barrel of a hybrid bat can only also be found in the 2015 Boombah Cannon. Both bats have similar swing weight too although the TRIO has a longer max barrel width. Other than the Boombah, the unique construction of the TRIO puts it in a different construction category than major brands marquee bats. Hybrid bats from Easton, DeMarini and Slugger don’t have the extended composite end caps. Nor do they have variable thickness in their barrel to help decrease swing weight.
Recommendations: The 2016 TRIO is both light swinging and hot out of the wrapper. The ping on the bat, in 5150 fashion, is remarkably loud. Ultimately, The TRIO is built for BBCOR players who are looking for a light swinging hybrid bat. In fact, if you are looking for the lightest swinging hybrid bat then the Rawlings TRIO is for you.
Those who are willing to do enough research to find this bat will find it well worth their time. Best deal on places to purchase is usually with searches like this: Ebay or Amazon. Otherwise, buying new from Rawlings’ site directly isn’t crazy either.