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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 15, 2022
Few bats hold a candle to the CF9 series of DeMarini Fastpitch sticks.
We took several of them for a spin, got feedback directly from elite players, read a number of sources we trust and spoke to the manufacturer and vendor to put together this 2017 DeMarini CF9 Fastpitch Bat Review. We cover the Hope, drop 8, drop 9, drop 10 and drop 11 here. We leave the 2017 Slapper Review and 2017 Insane Reviews to another post.
As a general rule, the heavier the bat runs, the longer it tends to be. This has nothing to do with physics, instead, it has everything to do with the market demand. A hitter looking for a drop 8 is often a big time hitter, and they are never looking for a 29 inch. Hence, the drop 8 is not produced in short sizes. The opposite holds true for why the drop 11 does not come in a 34 inch.
No other brand really drives options like the CF9. In that regard, there are no comparable options. Sure, Slugger’s LXT and XENO lines combined might get you close ,but they would still lack a drop 9 end load. Slugger’s fastpitch line does offer customization options—as they are owned by Wilson, too.
Easton, Marucci, Anderson and Rawlings each make good bats in their own regards. Some, like Rawings’ new Quatro and Marucci’s Pure, use a similar light swiging two piece composite concept, but they lack sizing options and pedigree.
The major, and only, change from 2016 CF8 fastpitch bats to the 2017 CF9 Fastpitch bats, is the change to a stronger composite. The claim is, this new Paraflex composite is 22% stronger. In theory, a stronger composite wall allows for a longer sweet spot, because walls can be thinner for longer without sacrificing durability. Time will tell if the CF9 is much hotter than the CF8, which were arguably the hottest bats on the market.
Our gut feel, after using the bats and speaking to others who have—the CF9 will have similar outstanding performance reviews as the CF8. Good news for all.
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.