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. We used the 2018 BBCOR version of the bat in a few tournaments across several different players with nearly unanimous approval. In fact, the majority, especially those hitters who benefit from faster swing speed, loved the bat. Below is our 2018 Rawlings VELO Review for baseball.
2018 Rawlings VELO 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.
2018 Rawlings VELO Recommendations
Although terribly difficult to measure, the Rawlings BBCOR line of bats may be the most popular BBCOR bats in the country. And among them, the VELO is the most popular bat Rawlings makes. As such, it could be argued, the VELO is the most popular BBCOR bat on the market.
Now, several fans of Easton, DeMarini and Slugger will scoff at the idea of a Rawlings dominated BBCOR market. No doubt the BBCOR market is crowded with great bats, but there are a few factors that lead us to believe the VELO is among the most popular BBCOR bats on the market. These features are highlighted as a guide for those who should like this bat.
- Low MOI (or swing weight)
- Distinctly loud sound at contact to sell the power of the hit
- Price point in line with what many parents are more willing to pay—especially compared to the prices of top shelf two piece composite bats
- Aluminum barrel, meaning the bat is hot out of the wrapper—so no break in period or questioning whether the bat is broken in
- As impressively long a pedigree as any bat in the BBCOR space—previous year’s VELO’s raked, and there is no reason to think the 2018 will be any different
In other words, players who like light swings, hot out of the wrapper aluminum and loud pings from a well known company with a brand name that has proven success will really like the 2018 VELO. As long as you fall into those categories, it comes highly recommended by us.
2017 vs 2018 Velo
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.
2018 VELO Sizing
Expect to see the Rawlings VELO in the following models and sizes.
- BBCOR 32, 33 and 34
- 2 5/8 Drop
- 2 5/8 Drop 5 USSSA
- 2 3/4 Drop 10 USSSA
- 2 5/8 Drop 5 USAbat
Voodoo Balanced 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. Those include:
(Click Bat to be led to those bat reviews)
Marucci CAT 7
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.
2018 VELO Sources
If you are looking for more insight on the 2018 Rawlings VELO, we suggest our 2017 Rawlings VELO review. That is the most read article on the subject. And, since the 2018 and 2017 are identical in everything but color, you can expect reviews for that bat to be similar to this one.
Also, on this site, the 2018 Quatro and 2018 5150 will be worth your time. They are sister bats of the VELO and carry some of the same ideas. Those bat reviews might give you more background on the 2018 VELO.
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