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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
DeMarini’s CF Black is a limited edition USSSA version of the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen in baseball. That is, the bat is the exact same as the 2019 red/white version (which was pretty much the same bat as the 2018 version). We are big fans of the big barrel, great feel, and top-end performance of the Black CF. It’s a great bat and we’ve yet to hear of any player who did not like it.
The bat is exactly the same in its performance construction, but made in a unique CF Black colorway that has us drooling. We are huge fans of the CF line of bats. This addition, much like the Zero Dark line of CF bats before it, is sure to fetch a premium in the secondary market. Performance is exactly like the 2019 version of the CF Zen because it is, after all, the same exact bat.
Note, though, it only comes in a USSSA drop 5, 8 and 10.
The CF Black is the same bat as the CF Zen for 2019. As such, the USSSA recommendations stay that same. That is, a hitter looking for what many believe (including us) to be the best USSSA bat on the market. The Black version adds some flair and unique style but, in the end, is a ball killer just like the CF Zen. The fact the bat prices out the same, at least off the shelf, as the CF Zen makes it highly recommendable.
There are a few two piece composite bats with a light swing in the big barrel/USSSA market. To name a few, Rawlings’ Quatro, Slugger’s 919 prime and Easton’s Ghost X Evo. The only company to come out with a limited edition version of these bats throughout the year is Easton. In 2018 they had a color up version (white) of the drop 5 USSSA. That white version bat did very well for them.
A few years back DeMarini created some Zero Dark versions of the CF Zen. These were limited edition bats only to be found in brick and mortar stores. These CF Black’s are similar to that in the sense of a later release/color up that will reinvigorate the CF Zen lovers among us.
See our full 2019 CF Zen review to check out the comparison to the 2018 CF Zen.
The CF Black is a two piece composite bat with a big barrel, great connection piece and light swing. It is the exact same bat as the 2019 CF Zen but with a new color design and slightly new name.
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.