We have hit with the Drop 8 and Drop 10 2019 DeMarini CF Zen. Our experience, albeit early in the process, is glowing. The bat feels a lot more like the famed CF8 with a bigger (2 3/4) barrel then that of the 2017 or 2018 CF Zen. We discuss our experience in this 2019 DeMarini CF Zen Review.
2017 to 2019 DeMarini CF Zen Lineup
2019 CF Zen Cage Side Hitting Review
Should I buy the 2018 CF Zen or 2019 CF Zen?
The 2019 Zen in the drop 5, drop 8 and drop 10 are all new bats from the ground up and you won’t find that dampening ring inside the barrel to make it legal.
What about the CF Zen in BBCOR?
The BBCOR 2019 CF Zen is not out yet. So, at this point, buying the 2018 is an easy answer.
Swing Weight of the 2019 CF Zen
If you follow any online groups and follow a conversation about the CF Zen you’ll quickly find many complain about the weight of the bat.
The vast majority of these complaints disregard the only thing that actually matters (which is swing weight) and only focus on the total weight of the bat. Total weight, as we discuss elsewhere, is a silly thing to care about when the point of the object you hold is to swing it. We can’t disregard physics.’
Scale Weight vs Swing Weight
Despite that reality, the complaints about a bat not weighing what is says it does is a never ending stream on social media. The one we used, for example, weighed 1.5 ounces over the sticker weight (not uncommon). But what does total weight actually mean when you swing it? By itself, quite frankly, virtually nothing.
In terms of swing weight, though, the 2019 CF Zen, and any CF Zen or CF_, we’ve ever measured, finds itself right in the mix of the normal drop swing weight of comparable brands.
To be specific, we measured the 31/21 CF Zen for 2019 with a 5800 MOI. This is nearly the exact average of every 31/21 bats we’ve ever measured. As such, consider the 2019 CF Zen as an average and expected swing weight of a drop 10 bat in the big barrel space. (Despite the fact it’s total weight is 1.5 ounces over sticker).
2019 CF Zen Recommendations
The only reasonable consideration to avoid the CF Zen is because of the price point. Granted, the bat’s price is right in line with other flagship bats on the market like the Easton Ghost X, for example.
But, in terms of pure performance and feel, we have no doubt that any player with the drop 10, drop 8 or drop 5 version of the bat will have anything but positive things to say.
It has durability issues. This early in the game we won’t know if its durability is more like the origina 2017 CF Zen (which was made illegal and broke a lot) or more like the CF8 which is considered by many, including us, one of the best big barrel bats of all time.
Why so early with the 2019 Zen?
If you are reading this article when it was first published you’ll notice the bat was released in early April of 2018. Why release a 2019 bat in April of the previous year?
Here are two possible reasons:
- Fastiptch bats for the next year are released in June of the previous year. Although April is clearly earlier than June, the idea of releasing next year’s bad in the middle of the previous year isn’t impossible. Maybe DeMarini is trying to get ahead of everyone else for the 2019 season. Or…
- CF History Lesson: The original CF Zen from 2017 was made illegal. This put DeMarini in a tough spot while trying to retool all of the 2017 CF Zens in a drop 8. and drop 10. Although they do not claim as much, the 2018 CF Zen was literally a new paint job on the retooled 2017 bat. We are not told why. As such, it is possible DeMarini felt like they needed a new CF Zen sooner rather than later.
2019 CF Zen Sizing
At release, the 2018 CF Zen comes in a drop 8 and drop 10 2 3/4 barrel. By mid April DeMarini releases a drop 5.
Where are the 2 5/8 Barrels?
As much gruff as the change in the 2018 USA Bat standard produced, it did do one thing great: consolidate the amount of shelf space needed. There is no longer a need for a 2 5/8 USSSA 1.15 BPF bat. Because, simple enough, any league that allows USSSA 1.15 bats allows them to be 2 3/4 diameter barrels.
Hence, the 2019 USSSA bat market will be filled with 2 3/4 barrel bats. The 2019 CF Zen USSSA comes in a drop 5, drop 8 and drop 10 2 3/4 barrel only. We have no expectation they will ever release another 2 5/8 USSSA bat again. (Unless, like the 2018 model, they are left overs from last year).
Where is the 2019 BBCOR CF Zen?
Expect this to release closer to September of 2018. When we get that in hand we will put up a review.
Is the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen the Best Zen Ever?
Without hyperbole, this is a difficult question to answer. In our minds, nothing will ever be better than the DeMarini CF7 and CF8. But, our early experience is that the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen is an improvment over the retooled (which weren’t bad, by the way). Time will tell if they are as good as some earlier models but we are hopeful.
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