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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
The 2021 DeMarini CF is just like the 2020 line. That is not a bad thing. All versions have that flex feel handle. The BBCOR swings light. The USSSA drop 10, 8, and 5 will still be legendary. The USA version is still struggling to impress (as all USA bats are). Also, the 2021 bat is called the CF, not the “CF Zen.” But, plenty of people search or refer to the bat as the “Zen,” so we use it here. But, to be sure, it is the 2021 CF.
Our hitters love the big barrel, great sound, and balanced feel of DeMarini’s CF. We expect the 2021 CF to be much the same. The BBCOR swings light, the USSSA drop 10, 8, and 5 have world-class performance, and the USA is as good as any other USA bat on the market today. It hasn’t changed much from 2020–but why should it? Aside from some durability issues in the USSSA, it’s tough to find any reasonable complaints (aside from the BBCOR being a bit too flexible—but that’s a feel preference, not a performance one).
For years the 2021 CF Zen from DeMarini is built on a light swing, big barrel, and non-stiff connection piece. For 2021, we see no reason they will change.
The two-piece composite space is replete with legit options. The most popular two-piece composite with a balanced swing is the Slugger Meta. Those bats are followed closely in popularity by the Rawlings Quatro and Easton ADV 360.
Compared to the 2020 CF, there are no differences between the 2021 and 2020 bats. From 2019 to 2020 they changed the endcap. But, for 2020, no changes.
The 2021 DeMarini will contine the long line of two-piece composite bats. That is, the handle of the bat and the barrel are made separately. They then connect the bat together with a type of connective piece that helps determine the feel of the bat. Although we don’t have specific construction information yet on the 2021 DeMarini CF, we fully expect something similar to previous years’ models.
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.