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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We put several hundred swings on the 2018 Rawlings Threat USA Bat. The USSSA and BBCOR versions are reviewed here too, but they are significantly different in makeup when compared to the 2019 USA Rawlings Threat.
Stronger, more advanced hitters didn’t prefer how light it was and complained a few times about hand sting. All the players under 10 loved the light swing of the USA Bat. It also had a great sound, feel on impact as well as the design. The USSSA and BBCOR versions of this bat are the next generation Rawlings Prodigy. The Prodigy is a single piece aluminum bat with a low price point and a low swing weight.
The USSSA Threat and the BBCOR Threat are, essentially, remakes of the 2018 Rawlings Prodigy. That bat is a single piece aluminum built with some technology in the aluminum that allows for a longer sweet spot. These bats are nothing to write home about as there are several dozen slightly inexpensive single piece aluminum bats on the market today. The USA Threat, on the other hand, is an ultra light swinging single piece composite that, at least in 2018, filled a void that very few bats did: light swing, good price point.
The Beast X Hyperlite from Easton is a drop 12 in the USA Space. However, that version of the drop 12 is a 2 1/4 barrel bat. We think a 2 1/4 bat is a terrible idea in the USA space.
The Hyperlite does have a 2 5/8 version in a drop 11. But, if you were looking for a drop 11 you’d likely not have made it this far in an article about the drop 12 Threat.
There are enough early reports on the Beast X Hyperlite to prove it is not going to be the favorite in this years 2018 USA Bat space.
If your intent is to get the lightest swing you can possibly find then the Rawlings Threat should be your choice.
There was officially no Threat in USSSA and USA last year. However, there is was a Prodigy and this bat takes its place in a long line of simple, single piece aluminum bats from Rawlings.
The Threat in USA is considered by some a 2018 and by others a 2019 bat. It came out later in the season for 2018 because there was a huge need for a light swinging USA Bat. This, in a drop 12, did the trick.
The USA Rawlings threat is a single piece composite bat with an ultra light drop 12 swing. The barrel size measures out below average when compared to other drop 10s in the space, but they are far from the smallest. And it stands alone in the 2 5/8 drop 12 space.
It also comes in as short a size as a drop 28 inch drop 12. That is, you can get a at that weighs close to 16 ounces—making it appropriate for players as young as 6 years old.
Note, as well, our 31/19 weighed in closer to 18 ounces. And the swing weight on the bat (with a real focus of the weight in the handle not the barrel) push it well below other 18 ounce bats on the market. In fact, its swing weight was even lighter than the 27/17 Marucci F5.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.