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Best Fastpitch Softball Bats

After testing, here are the Best Fastpitch Softball Bats our players and parents found.

November 10, 2020 | by Brian Duryea | @BatDigest

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By Brian November 10, 2020 9:52 am

Best Fastpitch Softball Bats Best Fastpitch Softball Bats

2020 DeMarini CF

After lots of testing, measuring and feedback, our hitters liked the exit speeds and feel of the 2020 DeMarini CF best. The 2020 DeMarini CF is the best fastpitch softball bat for 2020. It's a crazy smooth smash with a big barrel, light swing and fantastic performance from swing one.

Amazon
23 Amazon Reviews
Best Fastpitch Softball Bats 2020 Best Fastpitch Softball Bats 2020

2020 Easton Ghost Double Barrel

Although a massive swing, the 2020 Easton Ghost Double Barrel for fastpitch is a remarkable bat. It clobbers balls, gets fantastic ratings, and our power high school hitters thought it the best fastpitch softball bat for 2020.

Amazon
22 Amazon Reviews
Best Fastpitch Softball Bat 2019 Best Fastpitch Softball Bat 2019

2019 Louisville Slugger Xeno

While supplies last for 2019 bats, our hitters picked the Slugger Xeno as their favorite overall bat. They user ratings bear this out too. It comes with a great feel, long barrel, big-time performance, and a price point measurably below other bats in its class.

Amazon
8 Amazon Reviews
See Comparison Chart

Update November 10, 2020:

After hours of hitting, measuring and testing we think DeMarini’s 2020 CF stands out among the best fastpitch softball bats. There are many good options from the 11 performance softball bats we extensively tested for 2020. We report here much of that data and insight we gained from real independent players.

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Comparison Chart

Best Fastpitch Softball Bats Best Fastpitch Softball Bats 2020 Best Fastpitch Softball Bat 2019 Best Softball Bats 2019 Best Budget Fastpitch Bat Best Fastpitch Bat for Power Hitters Best Girls Softball Bat Best Fastpitch Bat for Slappers Best Value Fastpitch Bat
DeMarini Easton Slugger Mizuno Easton Easton Louisville Slugger DeMarini Mizuno
CF Ghost Double Barrel Xeno Power Carbon FS400 Ghost Double Barrel LXT CF F20 PWR CRBN1
$349 $349 $299 $300 $ $349 $349 $349 $249
4.9/5 4.9/5 5/5 4.8/5 4.8/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
Light, Super Hot Out the Wrapper End Loaded, HOT Stiff, Great Performance, Fantastic Price Great Exit Speeds, Good Balance Inexpensive, Great Ratings, Perfect Value Buy Heavy Swing, Huge Barrel, Great Pop Light Swing, Tons of Sizing Options, Great Performance, Perfect Feel Light, Huge Barrel Stiff, Big Hits, Great Price

Best Fastpitch Softball Bats

Testing is currently underway for our 2021 Best Fastpitch Bats. COVID pushed back many released dates. We expect to be finished with the 2021 Fastpitch rankings by the first two weeks in November. In the meantime, we think our 2020 rankings below still hold true.

We took three high school players and every 2020 fastpitch bat we could find (which was all of them). In truth, all fastpitch bats performed well. Taking everything into consideration, we think DeMarini’s CF is the best fastpitch bat for 2020. Still though, you’ll notice in our video the two hitters we featured like bats that are NOT the DeMarini CF. Instead, they liked the Prism and the Easton Ghost as the best fastpitch softball bats. Good choices. As are several other 2020 fastpitch bats. The parity between high-end bats is close, closer than we’ve ever measured it in 2017, 2018 and 2019 fastpitch bats. It’s hard to go wrong.

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In truth, ASA and USSSA fastpitch bats perform well across a lot of companies. You’ll notice, even in our video, the two hitters we featured chose bats that were NOT the DeMarini CF. Instead, they liked the Prism and the Easton Ghost. Good choices. As are several other 2020 fastpitch bats.

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Best Fastpitch Bat 20192019 Slugger XENO
Best Runner Up Fastpitch Bat 20192019 Mizuno Power Carbon
Best Budget Fastpitch Bat 2019Easton FS400
Best Cold Weather Fastpitch BatAnderson Rocketech
Lightest Fastpitch BatDeMarini Bustos
Best Power Hitter’s Fastpitch Bat2019 Slugger XENO Drop 8
Best Fastpitch Bat for 8-Year-OldDeMarini Bustos
Best Fastpitch Bat for 9-Year-OldDanielle Lawrie Axe Drop 12
Best Fastpitch Bat for 11-Year-Old2019 Slugger LXT X19
Best Fastpitch Bat for 12-Year-Old2019 Slugger LXT X19
Best Drop 12 Fastpitch Bat2019 Axe Element Fastpitch
Best Drop 10 Fastpitch BatDeMarini CF Zen | Xeno | Power Carbon
Best Drop 8 Fastpitch Bat2019 Slugger Xeno Drop 8
Best Home Run Fastpitch Bat2019 Slugger Xeno Drop 8

Why Trust Us?

Maybe you shouldn’t. We are simply a group of parents and players looking to document our collective performance on fastpitch and baseball bats. We don’t profess to be the end all be all in determining bat performance. That quest is usually better left to science labs. But we’ve swung every baseball, softball and fastpitch bat in the performance space since the middle of 2013. With that said, we’ve reviewed hundreds of bats.

Within that process, we not only swing the bats extensively, but we talk to manufacturers about the bat’s design. We talk to players at all levels of the sport about their experience. Also, we study every available review we can find online or elsewhere. Then, we take that data and put together a 700 to 1200 word review that, at least we believe, is the most thorough and objective you would be able to find.

As well, we don’t sell bats as a manufacturer or a vendor. As such, we have no incentive one way or another to push a particular brand or bat type. No doubt, we do have incentives. Our motivations lie in convincing the reader to click on an ad or follow a link to buy something on Amazon. Not a guilt-free process for sure, but it doesn’t come with any particular brand bias (as long as they sell it on Amazon or eBay).

Our Biases

We don’t imply this should mean we have no biases—all baseball and softball players do. We are among them. But we can say our livelihood does not depend on if you prefer a particular brand of bat that we review. In the end, we are parents and players who love the game and think it useful to share the data and feedback we’ve compiled. Our hope is the approach is both nonthreatening and unbiased. If other parents and players find something useful in these pages, then we feel successful.

What Makes a Good Fast Pitch Bat?

Within our testing, four common themes arose from players discussing what they did and did not like any particular bat. They are (1) the barrel size, (2) the balance point, and (3) the feel of the bat at contact and (4) the bat brands’ reputation. All preferred a larger barrel. Most preferred a balance point in the middle of the bat instead of toward the end. And nearly all preferred a relatively smooth hit on contact. These four factors weigh heavily in our decision to determine the best fastpitch softball bat.

Areas of Concern

It’s an admitted stretch to claim we’ve found the best fastpitch softball bat. Not that we can’t test and measure things scientifically, but hitting, at its core, is much more an art than it is a science. What bat is best for you individually can not be decided by some metrics and hitting data we’ve gathered. As such, we disclaim here that the LXT Plus is the BEST bat for everyone. Instead, we claim this fastpitch bat is the best for more people than any other. As well, we’d be comfortable stating, and nearly every player would have success with this bat. If it is indeed the particular ‘best’ for your hitting and type and needs is a question, we can’t answer.

How We Tested & Picked

To make our decision, we’ve spent over 200 hours testing, reviewing, reading, and writing reviews on every performance fastpitch softball bat in the market. This effort also includes nearly 40 fastpitch models with roughly innumerable sizing options. Most of our testing happened in cage work. Much of the rest on the field among different hitters. Almost always, the hitter had multiple fastpitch bats at their disposal. The hitter would often change between one particular bat and another in a matter of just minutes.

Further, we’d spend considerable time hashing out particulars of many of the bats we used with those who used it and those who manufactured it. Many of these conversations, with both players and engineers, were long and helpful. Additionally, we found, to our surprise, writing our fastpitch softball bat reviews, which are vetted by our readers, kept us on our toes. Our data needed to be both accurate and helpful. Some days a very tall task when considering bats in the performance fastpitch space are so very similar. Those processes above have led us, over the years, to conclude which bat generally fits the most amount of players.

 

None of this is to say we’d hesitate to recommend other bats—as there are a handful of good ones. But the 2016 Louisville Slugger Drop 10 LXT Plus consistently rises to the top any way we slice the data.

Should You Buy Used Fastpitch Bats?

eBay searches for the 2016 LXT Plus from Slugger are plentiful. Many of those searches turn up used bats—the history of which is often questionable. There are some circumstances in which we’d suggest buying a used LXT Plus. In particular, we are more willing to purchase an LXT plus that is a few months old instead of a few days old. There is a higher probability the problems of a composite bat will rear its head when it’s new. The fact the hitter never had a good enough experience with the bat to keep it suggests something may be wrong. This reality keeps us away from ‘used’ bats that are only a few weeks old.

On the other hand, bats with a season or so of good use prove the hitter had success with the bat but just outgrew it. Composite tends to get more productive over time, so a bat with a year of use likely performs better than one out of the wrapper. As such, we look for a dirty handle and scuffed up a barrel as a good thing in the used market.

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eric cash
eric cash
2 years ago

You should test dirty south bats kamo and lady swag…. plenty of pop in those bats.

Nate
Nate
28 days ago
Reply to  Brian

Did anything ever get tested with DSB

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

Did you plan to review the Easton ghost? I would interested to see where it compares. I know the 2018 models had comparable exit speeds to the Mizuno.

Diego Diaz
Diego Diaz
2 years ago

Can you test and review the new Demarini Prism and the Mizuno Titanium F19 and check the performance and the exit velocity? I have interest on these bats, but I am not sure that these $400 bats can do better that the Ghost, Xeno,the CF Zen and/or the Mizuno Carbon 2.

David Chinn
David Chinn
2 years ago

How is the Mizuno Power Carbon 2 any different from the 2018 Mizuno Ghost (except for the paint job)?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Great review! You mentioned the drop on the various test bats in this review. Curious to see the length of the bats being used by the girls. I am assuming 31” but hoping you had that data. Thanks and again exceptional and super informative review!

Crystal
Crystal
1 year ago

You are using bat models Mizuno Carbon 2 (black and blue) and Mizuno Power Carbon (black & purple) interchangeably in this article. Which one was actually the front runner? If going by the picture and the video, I would think Power Carbon – but you call it the Power Carbon 2 which is putting the 2 names together, help! We are thinking about just buying one to try out because we can’t find a single place within 3 hours of us to go swing one.

mike
mike
1 year ago

there is now a ASA stamped easton ghost any chance of a review

Briitany Aligood
1 year ago

My daughters first two-piece construction Fastpitch bat was the Xeno. As she has grown we bought another xeno, and then we decided to switch to the LXT when it was time to get a longer bat. She is an aggressive contact and power hitter. It has been a struggle for her to get acclimated to the LXT, and after 3 months it had some pieces come loose on the inside. We are actually relieved because now it has given her the opportunity to switch back to Xeno with a warranty replacement. We are so excited for her to start swinging with the 2019 xeno drop 10. I think the bat just gives her more feedback when she swings with it. She has had to start using her old Xeno since the LXT broke and her hitting has improved so much. It is shorter though so now that the longer bat is in I am almost fully confident she will ease right in.

Julie
Julie
1 year ago

Has anyone used the 2019 Rawlings Quatro softball bat? Any positive or negative feedback?

Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller
1 year ago

Has anyone tried the Axe bat Avenge or Avenge Lite? My daughter is 13 and been using the 2018 Element 33/21 and it has plenty of pop. Looking at 2 piece composite bats and she is very comfortable with the Axe handle but rarely see them in reviews against other regular handled bats. Looking for any feedback as not everyone has $300 to drop on an inferior product. Looking for a little guidance.

Crystal
Crystal
1 year ago

My 9 year old has a 2018 Xeno drop 11 she had for 2 years now. She is hitting solid in the cage but she does swing late at times. We just purchased a 2019 LXT drop 12 hoping it will help in her late swings…we shall see.

David Chinn
David Chinn
1 year ago

The Mizuno fastpitch softball bats have always been great and more innovative then the eell known brands!

David Chinn
David Chinn
1 year ago

You should know that the F20 PWR CRBN 1 Mizuno is a one piece bat and comes only in drop 8,9 snd 10. In the right hands it might be a power hitters dream come true! Hope you test it.

David Chinn
David Chinn
1 year ago

The 2018,2019 David Chinn and 2020 Mizuno fastpitch softball bats all hace Double Wall Construction.

David Chinn
David Chinn
1 year ago

Really happy to see you included the one piece Muzuno F20 PWR CRBN 1 in your current testing. I’m a big one piece bat fan and few brands do them justice. Mizuno and Marucci certainly do! Looking forward to your test results.

isabella
isabella
1 year ago

i use the louisville LXT for slapping and love it.

keri
keri
10 months ago

Great information on bats. Please do a review on the Axe fastpitch bats especially the Avenge Power Gap.

Jenn
Jenn
8 months ago

Your video shows them trying the Prism but I don’t see it in your comparison chart. Where did end up in comparison?

kendall
kendall
6 months ago

I would like to know why the ghost is the hottest bat out there and why they break so easily.

Jena R Doerr
Jena R Doerr
14 days ago

where is the actual review of the best bat? also the link to chart does not work.

Anon
Anon
13 days ago

She is 5’9, 150, and swings better than most men. 14 over the fence last year alone. Strong in the box! Xeno 2019, 2020, LXT 2019, or 2020. 

Mike
Mike
13 days ago

Looking for 33” 22oz balanced demarini Fastpitch bat that can be used in college . Any suggestions , my daughter is 5ft 4 and weighs about 115 pds. If there are not any demarini bats can you suggest another quality bat . Or do you think she could swing a 33” 23 oz because of being balanced ? 

Jeff
Jeff
13 days ago

Dr Bat guy I am looking for a bat for my 14 yr old twins. One bats right handed one swings left. The righty has a very compact and a short swing. She is a line drive, fly ball hitter and swings the 2017 Lousiville Slugger LXT. The lefty has a little more of a hitch in her swing and at times swings late, but does hit line drives and hard ground balls to he opposite field. She swings the 2017 East Ghost. Both bats are 32/22. We are playing in USA and USSSA tourneys this year and was looking for advice and what bat or bats I should get them. Hoping to just get one, but understand one might not work for both. 

SK Bowers
SK Bowers
13 days ago

My daughter is a slap/contact hitter, she is 5’5 115 pounds. Do you have a bat suugestion? 

Jean
Jean
13 days ago

Looking for a high quality last year model (2019) composite bat for my 15 year old daughter, 5’2″, 108 lbs. Plays HS and travel, she is a contact hitter, not really heavy hitter. What bat and size/weight do you recommend? 

Jenna
Jenna
5 days ago

I do not recommend the Demarini Prism. Breaks very easily.

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