We hit the 2019 CF Zen Fastpitch bat in a drop 10 and drop 9 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.
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.
Otherwise, 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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