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2019 DeMarini CF Zen Fastpitch Review

March 4, 2021 | by Bat Digest Review Team | @BatDigest

We hit the 2019 CF Zen Fastpitch bat in a drop 10 several hundred times with a few different types of hitters. Exit speed, ball distance and the general feedback from hitters was recorded. As well, we spent considerable time discussing the bat with major vendors and reading any early report online reviews we could find. That data is put together in this 2019 CF Zen Fastpitch Review.




CF Zen

Our hitters loved the DeMarini CF with each of them ranking it in their top 3 bats. It swings light, has a good sized barrel and feels great on hits and mishits alike.

Jump to the full review.

Quick Review

Our hitters loved the DeMarini CF with each of them ranking it in their top 3 bats. It swings light, has a good sized barrel and feels great on hits and mishits alike.

For starters, the bat swings light. The only bat that swings lighter than the CF Zen in the fastpitch drop 10 space is Louisville Slugger’s LXT. But, even then, the LXT is an imperceptible (1 to 2%) amount lighter than the CF Zen.

As such, the 2019 CF Zen is more for those who prefer or need a light swinging bat. The fact it only comes in a drop 10 and drop 11 for 2019 is proof of that too. If you need more gumption in your barrel then look to the 2019 CF Insane in fastpitch.

Fastpitch CF Zen Recommendations
2019 DeMarini CF Zen Review

If you are a hitter looking for as much barrel as possible per swing weight, then it is impossible to go wrong with the CF Zen in a drop 10 or drop 11. Among younger players it has been the most popular bat for years. Specifically, the CFX from 2018, the CF9 from 2017 and the CF8 from 2017 are remarkably popular Little League and High School level fastpitch bats. All for very good reason: the bat feels and performs at the top of the class.

To put it simply, the CF_ series of fastpitch bats almost always graces our list of best fastpitch bats.

Price Check

2019 vs 2018 CF Zen

To put it frankly, there is virtually no difference between the 2018 CFX and the 2019 CF Zen in fastpitch. Both bats have the same 3-fusion end cap, 3 fusion connective piece and use the same Paraflex composite.

This is not a bad thing. The CFX was the most popular bat in the market for the youth and High School crowd. There is no reason to think any changes needed to occur.

We also don’t think DeMarini should get flack for remaking the same bat and calling it the 2019 version. They only produce enough in 2018 for a particular season. The 2019 version, although the same in everything but paint job, restocked shelves and replenished inventory.

As such, if you can find a 2018 CFX or even a 2017 CF9 in stock at a better price with warranty then we save have at it.




Bat Review


DeMarini's CFX (the new CF Zen) in fastpitch is a light swinging two-piece composite with a big barrel. The bat's connection piece is less stiff compared to other fast-pitch bats like the LXT or Xeno. The differentiation between fastpitch bats is very little, and this bat, in the right hands, can perform as well as any hitter on the planet.

Price Check



Few bats hold a candle to the CF9 series of DeMarini Fastpitch sticks.

Price Check

Comparable Bats

A light swinging two piece composite bat in the fastpitch space is epitomized by the CF_ series from DeMarini and the LXT Series from Slugger. Although other brands try and get some love in that space these two bats really dominate that niche in the market. And for good reason. Both bats feel great on hits and mishits, give a sound like the ball is crushed ever time and fit the perfect balance point for most players.

Deciding which bat is better, the CF Zen in fastpitch or the LXT in fastpitch is splitting hairs. The only technical difference, really, is that the LXT swings a bit lighter. Sure, the inside of the LXT uses some ring tech while the CF series is empty. But, practically speaking, both bats are quite good, get amazing ratings, and cost the same.

In terms of sizing, the LXT has the advantage as it comes in a drop 9, 10, 11 and 12 for 2019 while the CF Zen is only in a drop 10 and 11. (Granted, if you wanted a drop 8 or 9 in a CF Zen then you’d look for the CF Insane. Meaning, the only real different size the LXT has in 2019 is the drop 12).


2020 RXT
See the RXT Review

Our 2020 Louisville Slugger RXT Review entails three different hitter feedback on over 400 hits both live and off a tee. We measured the bats swing weight and balance points in relation to all other performance fastpitch bats for 2020 and 2019. We took video and recorded some directly player feedback. In short, the RXT is a two piece composite built with a large barrel, stiffer connection than the LXT and a middle of the road swing weight. It replaces the PXT in the 2020 Slugger offering but is more like a stiffer connection in the balanced LXT than it is an upgrade of the heavy swinging PXT.

Price Check
2020 LXT
See the LXT Review

In June of 2019, Slugger released the Louisville Slugger LXT 2020. It comes with many of the same great features (even all of them) as the 2019 version. The Louisville Slugger LXT for 2020 review, ratings and places to buy are below.

Price Check
2020 Prism
See the Prism Review

For 2020, DeMarini has released the Prism out of its D-Labs and into the broader market. They also added a drop 11 to its very popular drop 10 status. For the drop 10, it is the same bat as the 2019 version. For 2019 it had a limited release. No matter what you call it, the Prism is the same double barreled light swing with a massive sweet spot, fantastic feel and a balanced swing. See DeMarini’s D-Labs where the Prism was born. In its original release, due to unexpected demand, the Prism was hard to find in stock. These days its pretty available at just about every major, serious outlet.

Price Check

2019 CF Zen Construction

The CF Zen fastpitch bat is a two piece composite bat built with a high tech connection point. The connection point removes most of the vibration on mishits as to not effect the hands. This works both in theory and in practice as we’ve hit with DeMarini’s two piece bats for years now. DeMarini’s connection pieces are top shelf stuff.

The barrel is built to a 2 1/4 standard legal for play in every league (ISA, USSSA, NSA, etc). DeMarini has used the Paraflex composite in their baseball and fastpitch bat lines for quite a while.

Bat Sizing Options

Unlike the 2019 CFX set of fastpitch bats, the 2019 CF line is split into a Zen line and an Insane line. (Much like the baseball CF_ bats). The CF Insane fastpitch bats run in a drop 8, 9 and 10 while the CF Zen bats are in a drop 10 and drop 11. The drop 10 Zen swings about 5% lighter (really 4.23%) lighter than the CF Insane.

If you are not sure on what size to get then take a look at the CF-XD. This is an adjustable length bat that changes the swing weight through a mechanism on the knob.


Feel on Sweet Spot Hits
Feel on Mishits
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Jane says:

Daughter is not an average 9 year old. About 4’11”, 125lbs. Strong hitter. Should I go with a drop 11 or drop 10?

Marsha says:

My granddaughters cf zen does not make any sound when she hits. Does that seem normal?

Jenna says:

I just got this bat and when I make contact, my hands sting really bad. It doesn’t feel normal

Nick says:

Do you have to break in the cf zen 2019?

Brian says:

Yes. It’s composite so yes. Most like the idea of it working in naturally. Takes about 200 hits or so around the barrel. We usually don’t bother with it since it will get worked in soon enough.

Nicholas Blackburn says:

The -11 CF8 and CF9 were calling Sprite

Nicholas Blackburn says:

Why is the CF8 and CF9 Sprite -11so sought after even used when you can just buy a CF ZEN -11 new for the same price as the CF8 and CF9 sprites are?

Brian says:

Sprite? Not sure what you are referring to here. Care to clarify?

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