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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 14, 2022
The bigger and stronger the hitter then less then tended towards the 2020 DeMarini CF. Still, they liked it—but was not at the top of their list. Every average to smaller hitter that used the CF fastpitch was blown away. It was in their top 3 of the 11 performance bats we extensively tested. They loved the feel, barrel size and perceived (which we confirmed) pop off the bat.
Our 2020 DeMarini CF Fastpitch review consisted of 400 hits, from 3 different players on both live pitching and tee work. Overall, we rated the 2020 CF Fastpitch bat as the best fastpitch bat for 2020. If that isn’t saying enough, we loved the exit speeds, sizing options, swing weight and feel. We think the bat, to say the least, is highly recommendable.
There are two drawbacks to the 2020 DeMarini CF Fastpitch bat. First, it is expensive. The bat, although priced where other performance fastpitch bats are, is not kind to the wallet. If you’re on a budget that is sub $349 then we suggest you try and find last year’s model, buy a used one or look at the best value fastpitch bats we found. Second, the bat only comes in a drop 10 and 11. Granted, the length options in each of those drops is considerable. But, if you’re a drop 8 or 9 hitter looking for more of an end load then the 2020 CF fastpitch line isn’t going to be you’re oyster.
Otherwise, even drop 12 hitters, will find a reasonable sized and feeling option in the 2020 CF. It swings very light so a drop 11, 29-inch would work well for those 30-inch drop 12 hitters too. And, the real meat of most lineups—the drop 10 32 to 34-inch world—will be, and should be, dominated by the 2020 DeMarini CF Fastpitch.
The CF is the LIGHTEST swinging drop 10 in the performance fastpitch space. The next closest is Slugger’s RXT. Also, based on our calculations, the 2020 CF swings about 4% lighter than the very popular LXT—which people often associate with light swinging. The light swing weight of the CF is its most differentiating structural feature.
But, in terms of similarities, there are plenty of two piece composite bats on the market with a less stiff connection, big barrel and price point. We think the Slugger LXT is the most honest comparison. Although the LXT comes in more drop sizes. Still, the LXT and CF have mostly similar swing weights, barrel sizes and good responses from players and parents. Without surprise, both are also the most popular fastpitch bats on the market.
The only real change from 2019’s CF Zen in fastpitch to the 2020 CF is the end cap. DeMarini resigned the end cap to help with durability. That end cap change, according to our swing weight measurements, imperceptibly lowered the swing weight of both the drop 11 and 10 for 2020. They refer to this new end cap as the ReAction End cap which is also found in the new 2020 Baseball DeMarini CFs and Voodoos.
Otherwise, expect the same Paraflex plus composite, 3-fusion connection and grip found in the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen fastpitch bat.
Lilke all companies do, there are several marketing jargons used to explain otherwise straight forward peices on the 2020 DeMarini CF. We work through each one and highlight the jargon in bold so you can know what the sales person is talking about.
As they have for a couple years now, DeMarini uses a Paraflex Plus Composite for the barrel. This is, at its core, a plastic composite made proprietary by DeMarini to be big, strong and light. They use this same composite material on the barrels of their popular baseball bats. Other companies have their own spin on the right mix of composite and, for all we konw, they could be very similar. Still, this is DeMarini’s take on the right kind of composite for high end performance bats.
For a few years DeMarini has used a connection piece they refer to as 3-Fusion. It is, in effect, a connection piece utilizing 3 different pieces of composite to keep the handle and barrel together on impact. The idea is to be stiff enough to hit bombs but not so stiff that it hurts your hands on mishits. Most high end performance bats from other companies have their own take on a connective piece. DeMarini’s 3-Fusion, which is used across many of their performance baseball and fastpitch bats, proves a legitimate one for sure.
On their CF line for 2020 they added a new end cap called the ReACTION End Cap. This is a common upgrade when a bat line improvement that responds to any general swing weight or durability issues in previous models. The new end cap adds a bit more lightness (at least as we measured it in our 32/22 and 32/21 2020 fastpitch CF) without sacrificing durability (or so is the claim) from last year’s 2019 CF Zen.
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%).
(UR) Un Rated: An overall rating of UR means the bat has yet to be fully rated. When it is, this score will update.
(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.
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