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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
We’ve spent 22 hours in total using and researching DeMarini’s 2016 CF8 baseball line specifically, and countless hours swinging everything else.
After all that, we are confident in saying, for most little leaguers, the DeMarini CF8 is the best bat money can buy in 2016. Among High school and collegiate play it is among the very best for many players.
We used the drop 8 and drop 10 Senior Barrel DeMarini CF8 bats at a weekend tournament as well as a 4 day baseball camp for 10 to 15 year olds. Several dozen players used the bats in that time and we gathered their feedback. We also spent several hours in the cage with the BBCOR bat among different High School players. These bats were used right along side other major brands and models in the space. The feedback of the players was compiled, and we have some great highlights.
By way of comparison to other brands, it’s hard to say the CF8 has more than one real rival in the market. Obviously, Easton’s MAKO would be the biggest by way of market share and a big barrel on a light swinging two-piece composite. The 916 from Slugger would be a distant third in the race of market share but, by way of design, it may be the most comparable. Adidas’ new RBZ EQT X3, although only in BBCOR, has a similar light swinging two-piece design yet it lacks any real pedigree and wide-field testing. None of these bats (or other two-piece composite bats), save arguably the MAKO, have nearly the prowess, product breadth, and potential of success as DeMarini’s CF8.
Compared to the 2015 DeMarini CF7, the 2016 DeMarini CF8 comes with some noteworthy upgrades:
In general, the first thing noted was the balance of the bat. Its barrel size in the Senior League versions is bigger than the 2015 CF7. So big, in fact, it gives the visual impression that it should weigh more than it feels like it does. Especially with the drop 10 Senior Barrel, the balance point is so close to the hands it nearly creates an optical illusion with how easily it swings. Subsequently, for most younger players, this light swinging and the big barreled bat is a perfect fit. Bat speed and bat control are significant aspects to getting the ball in play and, ultimately, on base. The CF8 succeeds in enhancing both.
The bat also has fantastic pop—something we’ve come to expect from the CF series of bats DeMarini has made so very famous. Put more flatly, as one Dad in the stands pointed out while the below 11 year old jacked a 250 foot shot into a River, “that is the Electric Avenue if I’ve ever seen it.” Where people come up with this stuff I have no idea.
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.