We’ve spent 22 hours in total using and researching DeMarini’s 2016 CF8 (Amazon $279 to $399; Baseball Savings $279 to $449) baseball line specifically, and countless hours swinging everything else. After all that, we are confident in saying, for most little leaguers, the DeMarini CF8 is the best bat money can buy in 2016. Among High school and collegiate play it is among the very best for many players. *You might find the 2017 CF Zen and CF Insane Reviews helpful too.
We used the drop 8 and drop 10 Senior Barrel DeMarini CF8 bats at a weekend tournament as well as a 4 day baseball camp for 10 to 15 year olds. Several dozen players used the bats in that time and we gathered their feedback. We also spent several hours in the cage with the BBCOR bat among different High School players. These bats were used right along side other major brands and models in the space. The feedback of the players was compiled, and we have some great highlights.
In general, the first thing noted was the balance of the bat. Its barrel size in the Senior League versions is bigger than the 2015 CF7. So big, in fact, it gives the visual impression that it should weigh more than it feels like it does. Especially with the drop 10 Senior Barrel, the balance point is so close to the hands it nearly creates an optical illusion with how easily it swings. Subsequently, for most younger players, this light swinging and big barreled bat is a perfect fit. Bat speed and bat control are significant aspects to getting the ball in play and, ultimately, on base. The CF8 succeeds in enhancing both.
The bat also has fantastic pop—something we’ve come to expect from the CF series of bats DeMarini has made so very famous. Put more flatly, as one Dad in the stands pointed out while the below 11 year old jacked a 250 foot shot into a River, “that is the Electric Avenue if I’ve ever seen it.” Where people come up with this stuff I have no idea.
CF8 Video Reviews
All players we gathered feedback from mentioned the smoothness of driving through the ball with the CF8. Many bats, especially stiffer ones, cause ringing hands at contact as the vibration of mishits takes its toll. But DeMarini has perfected the transition point in the CF8 to give the perfect amount of feedback on mishits as to keep confidence and aggressiveness at the plate high.
Some would argue the lack of feedback on the bat is a sign it lacks power at the plate. In theory this rings true: stiffer bats will ring up your hands on mishits but probably get better distance when hit right. This explains why more advanced players tend to prefer one piece bats or, at least, two piece bats with a stiffer transition. But in the younger leagues, we have found the benefits of increase confidence and aggressiveness a smooth swinging bat brings will far out-drive any distance stiff one-piece bats may bring.
CF8 Compared to the CF7
Compared to the 2015 DeMarini CF7, the 2016 DeMairni CF8 comes with some noteworthy upgrades:
- A noticeably longer barrel and wider barrel on the Youth and Senior League Versions.
- The BBCOR and Drop 5 have a thinner and tackier grip and a shorter knob flare (from knob to handle).
- The Drop 8, 10s and 11s have a slightly thicker and cushier grip. They also do not have a knob flare.
- There is a new end cap design on each bat.
- Each iteration (like the 2016 DeMarini Voodoo Raw) of the bat comes in its own color scheme customized to the age group of the bat. If you don’t like it, you can always make your own custom DeMarini CF8!
- All CF8s this year have an upgraded, stiffer handle called the D-Fusion 2.0.
DeMarini CF8 Sizing
The 2016 DeMarini CF8 will come in 7 different models, all, save the flared knob on the drop 5 and BBCOR, have the same composition: A two piece composite bat with a D-Fusion 2.0 handle and over-sized composite barrel. The end caps are an upgrade from last year and the swing weights (MOI) fit squarely in the ‘balanced’ category of bats. It is a bat for all hitters.
The sizes look like this:
DeMarini CF8 Comparable Bats
By way of comparison to other brands, it’s hard to say the CF8 has more than one real rival in the market. Obviously, Easton’s MAKO would be the biggest by way of market share and a big barrel on a light swinging two piece composite. The 916 from Slugger would be a distant third in the race of market share but, by way of design, it may be the most comparable. Adidas’ new RBZ EQT X3, although only in BBCOR, has a similar light swinging two piece design yet it lacks any real pedigree and wide field testing. None of these bats (or other two-piece composite bats), save arguably the MAKO, have nearly the prowess, product breadth and potential of success as DeMarini’s CF8.
DeMarini CF8 Conclusions
If you’ve never swung a CF series bat from DeMarini, you are missing out on what a bat should feel like. It’s forgiving on mishits, blasts bombs on great contact, and just feels right. Players of all ages and all levels, who are not swinging performance bats already, will see an immediate improvement in their game. Balls just fly better off the 2016 DeMarini CF8.