As an entry level 2018 USA Bat we like the Rawlings Prodigy. It uses an older alloy when compared to the Rawlings 5150 which a lot of folks like for the price. The USA drop 11 Prodigy (which can only be found at Dicks Sporting Goods) is a single piece aluminum alloy bat that produces a very loud sound on contact. It is a good to great choice for the rec type player simply looking for a bat that will hold them over in the younger years and won’t break the bank. Don’t expect remarkable performance or feel but, for the price, expect a reasonable solution. After some hitting with the bat, here is our 2018 Rawlings Prodigy Review.
The 2018 USA Bat Prodigy is a drop 11 bat. That means the numerical difference between the weight of the bat in ounces and the length of the bat in inches equals 11. So, if you buy a 31 inch 2018 Prodigy drop 11 it should weigh around 20 ounces.
Total weight, we like to note, is not one and the same as swing weight. Swing weight deals more with how a bat’s weight is distributed along the length of the bat. Bats with more weight towards the end cap swing heavier than those with more of their weight around the knob. The prodigy does a good job of putting most it’s weight towards the knob of the bat–so expect a good light swing with this drop 11.
A single piece aluminum bat, which is the 2018 Rawlings Prodigy USA bat, consists of a single piece of aluminum alloy. Other bats, more expensive than this one, are often made up with two pieces of bat making up the handle and barrel. Others some times use composite to make up the handle or barrel (or both) of the bat.
Rawlings doesn’t give any particular name to this alloy like they do on their more expensive bats, but you can assume it is a low to mid grade bat alloy.
Most impressive concerning the bat’s construction, Rawlings uses some technology to extend the size of the bat’s barrel. This is the same technology found in the more expensive Rawlings 5150 and Rawlings VELO bats. The extended barrel for less than $80 is a really great value.
Inexpensive single piece aluminum USA Bats for less than $100 in the drop 11 space are not very common in the USA bat space. The only other bat close to the USA Prodigy for 2018 is the Rawlings 5150. The 5150 has a more advanced alloy—which helps with some durability and, likely, better performance further out on the barrel.
But, we are not sure it is worth the $20 difference as the barrel profiles appear identical.
Serious travel ball players, or those looking to use their at a lot this year, should likely stay away from the USA Prodigy. As well, those who are concerned with hand sting or want a bat with a large looking barrel should also look elsewhere.
But, those players and parents looking for a single year bat to get you through the young growing years of a kid trying his hand at USA Baseball will likely find themselves right at home. Although we do like the drop 9 Rawlings Machine a better than the Prodigy, when it comes to cheap USA Bats, it swings much heavier even if it saves you a dollar or two.