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We've hit with the new USA CF Zen no less than 500 hits among several different hitters, measured its swing weight, exit speeds and barrels size. That information, along with a our experience with every other USA baseball bat on the market today, puts us in a unique position to offer some recommendations and reviews on the 2018 USA CF Zen Drop 10.
Cage Side Hitting: USA Baseball CF Zen
Our hitter in the video was super impressed with the feel of the bat even compared to other two piece composites he tested the same day. DeMarini has dialed in the 3-Fusion (formerly known as D-Fusion) connective piece that we've been in love with since the 2014 Voodoo. We did not measure exit speeds in this session as the bat was yet to be worked in. Check our raw exit speed data for more objective measurements.
CF Zen USABat Release Date
DeMarini's CF Zen in a USA Baseball bat released early January 2018. Other USA Bats, including those in the USA Bat line from DeMarini, released in September of 2017.
CF Zen USA Baseabll Comparable Bats
In terms of swing weight and general constructive principles the three major players comparable to the CF Zen in the USA space are Easton's Ghost X, Rawlings' Quarto and Mizuno's Ghost. Each bat has their own story worthy of full review a review so follow those links to read them.
CF Zen USA Baseabll Recommendations
As a general rule, you can expect top end performance, a nice balanced swing weight and a super smooth feel in a CF Zen USA Bat. What you may lose in barrel profile (if that means anything at all) should be made up for in top end performance, max sweet spot size and a really great feel on hits and mishits.
Assuming you have are in the market for a drop 10 in a 30, 31 or 32 inch two piece composite top shelf performance bat then you're work is cut out for you. Truth be told, you have a lot of good options.
It is hard to say the CF Zen is any measurable amount different then the Quatro and Ghost X. We suggest, if feel at contact is your deciding factor then go with the Zen. If you'd like save a few bucks then go with the Quatro. If you want the biggest barrel then Ghost X. If you want to try something entirely different then go with MIzuno's Ghost.
CF Zen USA Bat Construction
The 2018 CF Zen USA Bat is, as expected, a two piece composite bat with a balanced swing weight. It uses the same paraflex composite design DeMarini used in the 2017 line of Zens as well as each of the 2018 CF Zen bats. The connective piece is the 3-Fusion, which is an upgrade from the 2017 D-Fusion in that it serves the same function but with less bulk for other parts of the bat.
CF Zen USA Bat Swing Weight
Our swing weight measurements showed it a light swinging bat very similar to the Easton Ghost X and Rawlings Quatro in a similar size. (For those wondering, our MOI calculation showed just over 5900. This is less than 0.5% difference between it and the Ghost X and Quatro. Or, in other words, within our margin of error. These three bat's swing weight could be considered identical).
CF Zen 3-Fusion Connection Piece
If there were any particular reason to spend your money on the Zen instead of another high end performance bat it would be Demarini's connective piece. Granted, much of our testing in this regard is subjective. But, we do believe the connective piece design on the Zen (and other top shelf DeMarini bats) is unbeatable. The feel is remarkably smooth on hits and without vibration on mishits. With the exception of the 917 Prime from Slugger in a BBCOR, we know of no other bat that dampens sting as well as the 3-Fusion design found on DeMarini's flagship bats.
CF Zen USA Bat Exit Speeds
After testing exit speeds with our Rapsodo machine we find the CF Zen to be among the best for velocity off the bat. We discuss the major caveats of exit speeds on our hottest bats page as well as the nitty gritty results on our raw exit speed data page.
CF Zen USA Barrel Profile
If you are convinced that a bat with a bigger profile is always better than a smaller one then the CF Zen USA Bat is NOT for you. The barrel's profile size is smaller than average in the space and is smaller than other marquee bats in the two piece composite USA Bat space.
However, if you accept the notion that barrel profile has very little to do with actual success at the plate and is not akin to sweet spot size (which it isn't) then the barrel profile is just fine and will work.
CF Zen USA Bat Sizing
The Zen was both late to the party and is short on sizing. At release, it only comes in a 30, 31 and 32. Any other size needs, like a drop 8 or drop 5 or 29 inch bat, will need to be found elsewhere. If you want to stay with DeMarini (and get that smooth 3-fusion connection) then the Voodoo USA will be your ticket. If a two piece composite is your desire then you'll need to look outside the DeMarini window.
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