After hours of hitting 2019 fastpitch bats we think the 2019 Slugger XENO (Just Bats | Closeoutbats | Softball.com) the best overall fastpitch bat. Our hitters loved the stiff feel on contact, classic sound and middle of the road swing weight.

2 Girls Choose the Best Fastpitch Bats below…

We like the price point, many size and drop options as well as the exit speeds. Although no serious changes between the 2018 and 2019 versions, the bat absolutely rakes.

 

Best 2019 Fastpitch Bats

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Of some surprise, Mizuno’s Power Carbon 2 did remarkably well in our rankings and user feedback. Exit speeds were top shelf, the feel was loved and the swing weight sat right in line with the XENO. For a bat we had barely heard of the Mizuno Power Carbon was a huge, welcome, surprise.

Best 2019 Fastpitch Bat

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Best 2019 Fastpitch Bats

Bat (Price) Overall Rank Barrel Size Rank Exit Speed Rank
Slugger XENO 1 6 2 5
Mizuno Power Carbon 2 3 1 4
Slugger LXT 3 7 2 1
DeMarini CF Insane 4 2 5 3
DeMarini CF Zen 5 4 2 2

Budget Pick

Best Fastpitch Bats

If you are still tepid about your long term comittment in the compettive fastpitch sapce. Every player we had hit with the LXT had between good and great things to say about the bat. Performance, feel and sound were on the top of most lists. The history of Slugger’s LXT success in the fastpitch space is compelling too. Price check: Amazon.com

Best Fastpitch Softball Bat: 2019 XENO

Our Pick

Best 2019 Fastpitch Bats

Every player we had hit with the LXT had between good and great things to say about the bat. Performance, feel and sound were on the top of most lists. The history of Slugger’s LXT success in the fastpitch space is compelling too.

The competition is stiff for the ‘best fastpitch softball bat.’ But, the 2018 Slugger LXT Hyper drop 10 emerged as our favorite after 200+ hours of testing. We tested over a dozen high-end performance fastpitch bats. In addition to the positives we observed from hitters, we could not find anyone—regardless of hitting type and skill level—who didn’t love the LXT.

Most notably, they liked:

  • the XENO’s stiff feel on contact,
  • Middle of the road,
  • and great exit speeds.

If you can find the 2018 XENO in stock with a warranty then we would suggest buying that (assuming its at a discount) before the 2019 version. They are the same bat. Same connection piece, same barrel, same swing weight, roughly. You are getting a different paint job.

This is not a conspiracy by bat manufacturers or Slugger in particular. Bats are only produced in so much volume and when the 2018 version runs out there will be only 2019 versions. And since the 2018 was a great bat, why change much if anything at all?

Why the 2019 XENO?

Best Fastpitch 2019 bats

No doubt, there are plenty of really great drop 10 fastpitch bats out there. We like just about every one of them.

Our hitters liked the XENO due to its sound and feel on contact. Even the bad hits felt good, they said.

We like the price point of the bat and the pedigree of a real durability. It is helpful, too, the bat soared in our exit speed testing for average sized hitters.

The at also comes in a number of drops. A drop 8, 9, 10 and 11 for this year’s 2019 Xeno.

See our full 2019 Xeno Review.

Runner Up: 2019 Mizuno Power Carbon

Runner Up

Best 2019 Fastpitch Bat

No bat has ever surprised us as much as the Power Carbon from Mizuno. The bat is a two piece composite with a swing weight much like the XENO. However, the two piece connection isn’t built as stiff. Our hitters loved every bit of it.

To break into the big time fastpitch space with a brand new bat is a pretty remarkable thing to do. Bats like the CF Zen and LXT have been vying for the top spot in the fastpitch space for a number of years—and many times receiving it. And though we like those best plenty in this year’s 2019 class we can’t stop thinking about how fun the Mizuno Carbon 2 is to hit.

Best Budget Fastpitch: Easton FS400

Budget Pick

Best Fastpitch Bats

If you are still tepid about your long term comittment in the compettive fastpitch sapce. Every player we had hit with the LXT had between good and great things to say about the bat. Performance, feel and sound were on the top of most lists. The history of Slugger’s LXT success in the fastpitch space is compelling too. Price check: Amazon.com

If your budget is outside the ‘performance’ bat market range, we’d consider Easton’s FS400 fastpitch bat as a legitimate budget buy. This is the bat for players convinced their hitting challenges have more to do with their mechanics than bat. Most of all, this fastpitch bat comes with a light enough swing weight  and big enough barrel to work well enough for many hitters.

Why Trust Us?

In short, maybe you shouldn’t. We are simply a group of parents and players looking to document our collective performance on fastpitch and baseball bats. We don’t profess to be the end all be all in determining bat performance. That quest is usually better left to science labs.

But, for what it’s worth, we’ve swung every baseball, softball and fastpitch bat in the performance space since the middle of 2013. With that swinging, we’ve reviewed hundreds of bats. Within that process, we not only swing the bats extensivley but we talk to manufacturers about the bat’s design. We talk to players at all levels of the sport about their experience. Also, we study every available review we can find online or elsewhere. Then, we take that data and put together a 700 to 1200 review that, at least we believe, is the most thorough and objective you would be able to find.

As well, we don’t sell bats as a manufacturer or a vendor. As such, we aren’t incentived one way or another to push a certain brand or bat type. No doubt, we do have incentives. Our incentives lie in convincing the reader to click on an ad or follow a link to buy something on Amazon. Not a guilt free process for sure, but it doesn’t come with any particular brand bias (as long as they sell it on amazon or ebay).

Our Biases

We don’t imply this should mean we have no biases—all baseball and softball players do. We are among them. But we can say our livelihood does not depend on you preferring a particular brand of bat that we review.

In the end, we are parents and players who love the game and think it good to share the data and feedback we’ve compiled. Our hope is the approach is both nonthreatening and unbiased. If other parents and players find something useful in these pages then we feel successful.

Who Should You Buy the XENO?

2019 Louisville Slugger XENO Review End Cap

The 2019 drop 10 XENO from Slugger is built for the serious player who wants as much gumption from their contact as possible. Players will feel more feedback in this bat then they will with other bats like the LXT or Cf Zen.

The bat is a perfect fit for the middle of the lineup hitter who needs to move runners and create havoc on the defense. The drop 11 would work for players as young as 10 and the drop 8 works for players at the collegiate level.

In terms of performance bats, the XENO comes in a great price point. Most composite bats are well into the $300 range.

What Makes a Good Fast Pitch Bat?

Within our testing, four common themes arose from players discussing what they did and did not like of any particular bat. They are (1) the barrel size, (2) the balance point and (3) the feel of the bat at contact and (4) the bat grands’ reputation.. All preferred a larger barrel. Most preferred a balance point in the middle of the bat instead of toward the end. And nearly all preferred a relatively smooth hit on contact. These four factors weigh heavily in our decision to determine the best fastpitch softball bat.

Features & Construction of the XENO

Best Fastpitch Bats

The XENO is a mid range swing weight, two piece composite performance bat with stiff transition.

There are have been little changes in the XENO since 2016. (You can read our 2016 review here).

The 2016 LXT Plus from Slugger is a double walled composite bat. (You can read more about this on our 2016 and 2017 LXT reviews). The double walled design is made by forming both an outer and inner shell on the barrel. The outer shell is a thinner composite which allows for hot out of the wrapper performance. The inner shell serves to increase durability, lengthen the barrel and keep the bat from overstepping the allowable trampoline effects.

The bat’s handle is made of similar composite material. This composite helps both dampen sting and keeps the swing weight of the bat low. The LXT has a remarkably low swing weight and gives ‘oh so much’ barrel for such an easy swing. Slugger has been using this same composite handle design for years—and it works.

The transition piece of the bat, that is the piece which holds together the handle and barrel, is stiffer than the others on the market. This stiffer transition gives hitters quick and unmistakable feedback and helps increase power transfer to the ball at impact.

Areas of Concern

It’s an admitted stretch to claim we’ve found the best fastpitch softball bat. Not that we can’t test and measure things scientifically, but hitting, at its core, is much more an art than it is a science. What bat is best for you specifically can not be decided by some metrics and hitting data we’ve gathered.

As such, we disavow any claim here that the LXT Plus is the BEST bat for everyone. Instead, we claim this fastpitch bat is the best for more people than any other. As well, we’d be comfortable stating, nearly every player would have good success with this bat. If it is indeed the particular ‘best’ for your hitting and type and needs is a question we simply can’t answer.

How We Tested & Picked

To make our decision we’ve spent over 200 hours testing, reviewing, reading and writing reviews on every performance fastpitch softball bat in the market. This includes nearly 40 fastpitch models with a nearly innumerable sizing options.

Most of our testing happened in cage work. Much of the rest on the field among different hitters. Almost always the hitter had multiple fastpitch bats at their disposal. The hitter would often change between one particular bat and another in a matter of just a minutes.

Further, we’d spend considerable time hashing out particulars of many of the bats we used with those who used it and those who manufactured it. Many of these converstaions, with both players and engineers, were long and helpful.

Additionally, we found to our surprise, writing our own fastpitch softball bat reviews, which were to be vetted our readers, kept us on our toes. Our data needed to be both accurate and helpful. Some days a very tall task when considering bats in the performance fast pitch space are so very similar.

Those processes above have led us, over the course of the years, to conclude which bat generally fits the most amount of players. This isn’t to say we’d hesitate to recommend other bats—as there are a handful of good ones. But the 2016 Louisville Slugger Drop 10 LXT Plusconsistently rises to the top any way we slice the data.

Should You Buy Used Fastpitch Bats?

Ebay searches for the 2016 LXT Plus from Slugger are plentiful. Many of those searches turn up used bats—the history of which is often questionable. There are some circumstances in which we’d suggest buying a used LXT Plus.

In particular, we are more willing to purchase an LXT plus that is a few months old instead of a few days old. There is a higher probability a composite bat has defects when it’s yet to really be used. The fact the hitter never had a good enough experience with the bat to keep it suggest something may be wrong. This reality keeps us away from ‘used’ bats that are only a few weeks old.

On the other hand, bats with a season or so of good use prove the hitter had good success with the bat but really just outgrew it. Composite tends to get more productive over time so a bat with a year of use likely performs better than one out of the wrapper. As such, we look for a dirty handle and scuffed up barrel as a good thing in the used market.

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Posted by Just Bat Reviews

Dedicated to the notion that it is possible to wade through the minutia of industry hype and vendor bias to determine your best bat.

  1. You should test dirty south bats kamo and lady swag…. plenty of pop in those bats.

  2. Did you plan to review the Easton ghost? I would interested to see where it compares. I know the 2018 models had comparable exit speeds to the Mizuno.

  3. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the note. We don’t have the Ghost in this set because it isn’t an ASA bat and we were just using fastpitch girls (highschool) to test the bats—and didn’t think it a great comparison. We’ll have some more data on the ghost later this year. And we’ll need to get an ASA version of the ghost in to do the testing. It’s weird they have a dual stamp bat, but we get it. Anyways, hope that helps.

  4. True. Eric. We are on it!

  5. Can you test and review the new Demarini Prism and the Mizuno Titanium F19 and check the performance and the exit velocity? I have interest on these bats, but I am not sure that these $400 bats can do better that the Ghost, Xeno,the CF Zen and/or the Mizuno Carbon 2.

  6. We are working on those bats as we speak. Should have some stuff up this coming week. You’ll also find the raw exit speeds, when we finish those here shortly, on our raw exit speed data test.

    Thanks for reading!

  7. How is the Mizuno Power Carbon 2 any different from the 2018 Mizuno Ghost (except for the paint job)?

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