2017 Rawlings Quatro Review

Update 9/13/2016:  Quatro Review

Bat Tested:  33″ BBCOR

Find this bat in stock.

With the Rawlings Quatro being a new offering for 2017, it was definitely at the top of my list for most anticipated review.  Spoiler alert:  it didn’t disappoint.

Cosmetics / Graphics

The very first thing that you’ll notice about the Quatro is the neon yellow color.  You can’t miss it, it’s literally everywhere, hence the nickname Glowstick.  This bat makes a bold statement and it will be easily recognizable on the field from any distance.  Love it or hate it, it’s here.  Once you get past the color, you will find a bat that has been beautifully designed.  I’d be willing to bet that Rawlings spent a good amount of time designing, iterating and finalizing the graphics / cosmetics for the Quatro.  Starting with what Rawlings is calling their Tru-View Technology, there is a long rectangular strip running the length of the barrel that acts as a window showing the true material that the bat is constructed of, which is composite.  If you look closely, you can see where the barrel layup changes about halfway up the barrel from the connection and into the “performance” section.  You’ll be able to notate the change in material when the design changes.  For all of you other bat nerds out there, please enjoy this great design feature.  They’ve accented this area with what may be a high gloss to make it pop and stand out from the rest of the barrel, which looks to be almost matte or regular clear-coat.  Unfortunately you need to see the bat in real life to get the full effect as the pictures don’t do it justice.

When I looked at the bat for the first few times, there was something about it that threw me off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I soon realized that the barrel has kind of a sharp taper (the area going from maximum barrel circumference down towards the handle), which makes the barrel look huge even though it maxes out at 2 5/8.  In addition, they use the silicone transition piece to line up exactly with the bottom of the barrel and transition down further to the handle making the barrel of the bat look extremely long.  This is a visual trick* that has been done extremely well and my hat is off to them.

I’ll also mention the “4” made inside of the “Q” on the transition piece representing 4 pieces and that they took the time to add Quatro to the raised design end cap.  These were both nice touches.

**Side note:  The word trick shouldn’t be thought of as negative in this context.  All manufacturers use a combination of color, graphics and transition areas to make barrels look bigger and bats more aesthetically pleasing overall.  Some companies just do a better job at it than others.**



















I had the chance to speak with a representative from Rawlings prior to hitting and he warned me that I would be completely puzzled after the first few swings and sure enough, he was absolutely right.  Since the Quatro uses an internal composite cylinder to act as a governor vs a barrel ring or variable wall thickness to remain BBCOR compliant, the sounds that came from this thing were all over the board.  It ranged from high pitched aluminum like ping all that way down to the dead composite thump.  After swinging it for a while I realized that most of the “thumps” came when I completely squared the ball up and the barrel wall was engaging the inner cylinder to make the sound.  So, here’s your fair warning:  Don’t judge the performance based on the sound alone.  I can assure you that the ball came off plenty hot on the not so great sounding hits.  This will be something that hitters will just need to get used to if they want to use the bat.  For you fast pitch fans out there, the Louisville Slugger Xeno made waves through the softball world with its glass shattering sound.  At first, people were convinced that the bats were broken or didn’t like it because it was too loud.  Fast forward to today and it’s one of the more popular bats on the market with a “patented” sound and great pop.

Feel / Swing Weight / Knob / Grip

The Quatro should be welcomed by a wide variety of hitters looking for a multi-piece composite as it has balanced swing weight with a mid to low MOI.  Overall, it is an easy bat to swing and get through the zone, but not the lightest.  Once you get to contact you won’t have to worry about getting a stinger as the VBT (Vibration Dampening Technology) does its job, but still allows you to feel location of impact.  The connection feels good on impact, not too stiff or too flexible.  I did however feel a little flex on a couple of balls hit off of the end, nothing discouraging, but it was there.

The knob has both a good shape and size to it.  It looks and feels like it has been designed with a slight taper that fits against your bottom hand nicely.  I think that the grip went well with the bat and felt pretty good.  The small indentations felt like it gave a few more edges to catch onto.  It did however start to bubble up and come undone after the first use, but I’m notoriously hard on bat grips.  The only other issue is that it was immediately dirty after using it.  That’s the only downfall of using a light colored grip.  They look phenomenal on the rack, but once you get them in the cage or on the field that sparkle is gone.  Both issues could be solved by throwing on a new Lizardskins grip if necessary.


The ball seemed to jump off of the barrel in the cage as there were plenty of hissing liners back through the middle.  As I said before, don’t let the sound at impact affect your judgement of how the ball is coming off when testing it out.  As with my usual testing protocol, aside from squaring the ball up on the sweet spot, I hit multiple balls off of the inner & outer third of the barrel which still resulted in good exit velocity.  From my experience, I really think that the inner third of this barrel performed very well compared to the sweet spot.  My hope is to be able to get this bat out on the field soon to see the true ball flight, especially against competitors.  


There will be some players that are put off by the color and the sound, but if you get past those seemingly irrelevant (in a performance centered world) things, you will find a really nice multi-piece, full composite and balanced bat with good performance.  With a BBCOR price of $399.99, the Quatro will find itself right in the middle of the conversation with competitor offerings.  If you’re looking to purchase a new bat, the Quatro definitely deserves a chance.  Our friends over at JustBats.com have them in stock when you’re ready to pull the trigger.  You can find BBCOR HERE and Senior League -10 2 3/4 HERE.






Check out the 2 Legit tech video I found to get an idea of how the inner cylinder works.


Prior Update 7/4/2016:  The Quatro pre-orders have started for an 8/1 launch at Rawlings.com.  The bat will be available in BBCOR as well as Senior League -10 2 3/4 barrel for now.  Hence the name it is indeed a 4 piece full composite bat that will competing with the Easton Mako, Louisville Slugger Prime, Demarini CF Zen / Insane along with others.  They say that the Quatro uses VBT (Vibration Dampening Technology) at the transition collar using infused silicone to eliminate vibration.  When they say collar, I assume that they are referring to the outside transition, which is usually a cosmetic feature and tends to only have a minimal effect on feel unless it’s actually affecting the deflection (bend) of the bat at that point.  If they are indeed referring to the material inside the bat that connects the handle and barrel, that would make a little more sense. Silicone and rubber are usually popular choices for transition materials for their ability to absorb vibration.  In most cases, the softer the material, the more vibration will be eliminated and the less you will feel in your hands.  Feel always comes down to a matter of personal preference.

It will also incorporate the graphic feature Tru-View Technology (as does the Velo) which shows the true material composition of the bat.  The most interesting new feature actually looks to be taken from the Worth 2 Legit fastpitch bat (video below) and redesigned for baseball (along with the fastpitch Quatro).  The Quatro will use an inner composite sleeve attached to the end cap which will act as a governor to keep the bat BBCOR and USSSA compliant. The outside barrel walls will deflect or trampoline in until they are stopped by the inner sleeve and fire back.  You can get a great idea of what everything looks like in the awesome cutaway picture below.  This picture is actually on the Rawlings site and I give them a lot of credit for putting it front and center for everyone to see.  I look forward to seeing how it performs overall.  If you have had the chance to swing it, let me know what you think!



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