In 2010 Rawlings introduced the 5150 BBCOR using a different technology than most manufacturers. They use a variable wall thickness to allow their bats to meet BBCOR specifications. Many other manufacturers simply bulked up the walls of their bat or inserted a ring to keep the barrel from flexing. The variable wall thickness that Rawlings developed allows the bat to have the maximum barrel flex and to have better “pop” away from the sweet spot.
That technology was passed along to the 2012 Plasma BBCOR bat from Rawlings. The Plasma is made with a lower grade metal, but it sports the same technology that made the BBCA one of the most popular BBCOR bats in 2011. The BBCA was even used by the NCAA National Champion South Carolina Gamecocks. Because the Plasma is built with the lower grade alloy it allows Rawlings to offer it at a cheaper price. But, because it’s built on the frame of the BBCA, it allows you to have the most advanced and best performing BBCOR bat in your hands.
I recently got a chance to swing the Plasma and I have nothing but good things to say about it. First, for a relatively cheap BBCOR bat it has graphics that make it look like it could cost $300. Second, I noticed that this bat is very balanced. It has nearly the same exact feel as the 5150. Lastly, this bat performs as well as any BBCOR I have hit. It has a balanced feel and the ball really jumps off this bat.
All of that said, this bat still comes in at a great price point. I don’t see any disadvantages to buying this bat to use in a world where all of the bats have to perform to the same standards. I didn’t hit enough balls to tell you anything about the durability and I imagine you will get more years out of a bat with better alloy, but if you’re a customer that buys a bat a year this one will perform with the best of them and you could afford to buy 2 or 3 over the span of a few years.