2018 Rawlings Threat Youth Bat Review
Our Summary and Review of the Rawlings Threat:
When the "Threat" arrived onto the youth baseball scene in April of 2018, it immediately became a viable bat option that helps solve an early problem with USA Bats thus far. As most baseball families have noticed, these bats as a whole have been coming in a bit heavier vs. the ounces stamped on the barrel. Certain models can reach 2+ extra ounces essentially changing the entire length to weight ratio. In some cases, -10 drop bats are really -8 drop. When evaluating the Threat, we selected volunteer hitters who specifically use -11 and -12 drop during the season. We narrowed our pool even further to specific hitters that consistently complained about the weight of their bat being heavier than expected. Despite the fact the Threat is a -12, it does feature a composite 2 5/8 barrel. We think this could be the bat many younger kids have been looking for. After approximately 300+ swings, below is our official review of the 2018 Rawlings Threat USA youth bat.
Evaluating the Pop of the Rawlings Threat:
Measuring the pop of the Threat was easily the most anticipated portion of the entire evaluation process. In being a -12 drop and a fully one-piece composite with a specialized carbon fiber barrel, our team expected the Threat to offer similar or more pop than the -11 USA bat alloys. After the first few batters finished their swings, it became quite obvious that it sends the ball further than any other -12 USA bat and simultaneously rivaling the power of -11 drops. As the hitters continued to make solid contact, the ball would come off the barrel quietly yet forcefully. About 20% of the connecting hits reached the fence of a standard little league field which to us, is an quite a feat for a -12 USA bat. One of our volunteers who used a -11 drop during the 2018 season stated that he wished, “The Threat was there at the beginning of the season. It hits further than my bat which feels heavier. Plus, I really like the cool green color.” Not a bad opinion, if you ask us.
OFFICIAL SCORE: 10 / 10
Calculating the Vibration Control of the Rawlings Threat:
Our analysis of the shock vibration control of the Threat comes from the feedback of our youth volunteer hitters during the entirety of the bat evaluation. Out of all the batters who tested out the Threat, approximately 15% mentioned feeling the stinging vibrations upon their grip. Without a doubt, we believe the single piece construction is most likely the cause for the negativity seeping through. When we reviewed the 2018 Rawlings Quatro which carries a two-piece composite design in a -10 drop, we documented that less than 5% -of young hitters felt stings. We believe the Quatro is much more efficient at deflecting vibrations since it was made for older USA baseball kids. For kids younger than 10 who are more likely to use the Rawlings Threat, they will receive decent protection.
OFFICIAL SCORE: 8.5 / 10
Assessing the Grip and Comfort of the Rawlings Threat:
Analyzing the comfort and overall feel of the Threat was another element we needed measure with the same level of importance as the pop category. Considering it features -12 length to weight ratio and Rawlings' traditional tacky grip, our team predicted the volunteer youth hitters would thoroughly enjoy the grip and feel. The overwhelming positive response from these youth players proved our prediction correct. Despite two out of the three Rawlings Threat bats we used came in around .5 ounces heavier, our hitters gave glowing reviews regarding the overall experience. One particular volunteer stated the following, “The new Threat was very light and easy to swing. I really felt my bat speed get faster and I felt very comfortable in the batter’s box.”
OFFICIAL SCORE: 9 / 10
Measuring the Durability of the Rawlings Threat:
Over 300 swings later, our staff found only typical handlings marks and scratches throughout the barrel. This bat held up well by not cracking, bending, or chipping. Depending on your slugger's play style, this purchase can easily get two to three seasons of solid usage before the depreciation starts to take effect.
OFFICIAL SCORE: 8.5 / 10
TLDR; Determining the Overall Experience of the Rawlings Threat:
In order to appreciate the value of the Threat, we need to focus on what type of player the bat was designed for and how the bat performs for those respective hitters. This USA bat was never intended for use in older kid pitch divisions of USA Baseball. Our finals thought are, if your child is between the ages of 6-10 and needs a USA bat with a bit less weight without forfeiting pop potential, we highly recommend the 2018 Rawlings Threat.
OVERALL SCORE: 9 / 10