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Louisville Slugger Solo 618

2018 Louisville Slugger 618 Review

Louisville Slugger’s 618 Solo is the most popular baseball bat in 2018. This came about due to a perfect storm of factors. They included the fact the bat was reasonably priced, came in a huge array of sizes, swung light and delivered on a USA Bat version that took the market by storm. In short, the bat fit exactly what the market needed. Reviews on the bat are fantastic across the board. There is a reason it sits atop the best BBCOR and best youth bats list.  Some notes, we add, here.

618 Solo Review

Best Place To Buy

As always, the best place to find a 618 Solo for a good price is on eBay. You can find both new and used Solos there. Many big time vendors actually release much of their overstock on eBay. As we get closer to 2019 bats you will see the price on the 618 Solo drop even more. You can always check directly on Slugger’s site too.

Price check on Ebay.

618 Solo vs 617 Solo

2018 Slugger 618 Solo Reviews

The major differences between the 617 and 618 Solos is the addition of a USA and USSSA (Big Barrel) versions of the bats. Otherwise, the bats constructions are nearly identical from 2017 to 2018. Sizing wise, the BBCOR version came in a short 29 inch up through a 34 inch in 2017. That stayed the case with the 2018 version. It was also very helpful the bat added a USA and USSSA version in a HUGE sizing range.

Both bats use the same Lizard Skin grip, extended composite end cap and aluminum barrel.

618 Solo Construction

618 2018 Solo Review

Single piece aluminum bats with an extended composite end caps are not uncommon. In fact, the Rawlings VELO has made that construction design popular for several years.

Removing weight from the end cap (by replacing its aluminum with a plastic/composite) helps drive the swing weight down. But, the aluminum barrel allows for a strong feeling at contact, great sound on impact and greater durability. This design is the halmark of the 618 Solo and, to say the least, has really caught on.

618 Solo USA Bat

2018 618 Slugger Review

The star of the 2018 show for the 618 Solo line is the USA Bat version. The bat came late to the party. But, when it arrived, the need for a truly light swinging and durable bat in the USA Space is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered. The USA Version ran a drop 11 with sizes as short as a 28 and as long as a 32.

618 Sizing

  • BBCOR 29 through 34
  • USSSA Drop 10 28 through 33
  • USA Bat Drop 11 28 through 33

618 Solo vs 718 Select

618 Solo Review vs 718 Select

There are considerable differences between the 618 Solo and 718 Select from Slugger. For starters, the bat’s focus on a light swing (618) and an end loaded swing (718).  Second, one bat uses a single piece design (618) while the other uses a two piece hybrid design (718). The 618 has a stiff feel on contact while the 718 feels more forgiving.

The two bats also come in different drops in the USA. The USA for the 618 is a drop 11 while the 718 has a drop 10 and drop 5. The USSSA both have a drop 10 while the BBCOR is, obviously, a drop 3.

The bats are made for different types of hitters. Smaller or base hitter types will like the 618 for its light swing and big barrel. Stronger or home run type hitters will like the 718 for its heavier end weight.

As an example, college players tend to prefer the 718 for its end weight. Highschool players would prefer the 618 Solo.

2019 DeMarini CF Zen

2019 DeMarini Cf Zen Review

Remember that time DeMarini made a terrible CF Zen? Us neither. The 2019 DeMarini CF Zen adds up on the long line of ulta hot big barrel and BBCOR Bats. You can also expect a 2019 USA CF Zen too. After much reading, a bit of hitting, here is the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen Review.

2019 DeMarini CF Zen

Best Place To Buy

As always, the best place to look for great deals on a baseball bat is on eBay. There are a few good options with a search like this. Of course you can check your regular bat haunts as well because this bat will be available just about everywhere. Look at DeMarini’s Baseball Bat site too.

2019 CF Zen Durability

2019 DeMarini CF Zen

Any serious bat consumer knows that the CF Zen line has struggle mightily with its durability over the years. The 2016 CF Zen big barrel was ultra hot but almost guaranteed to break. The 2018 version was deemed illegal because it was crazy hot (and also broke). It was recalled and revamped with a ring inside the barrel. Then, in 2018 came out a repainted 2017 version (with the same ring) but STILL had issues breaking. It was also deemed illegal.

Early reports on the 2019 CF Zen are not promising in terms of its durability. Specifically, the big barrel versions of the bat in the drop 10 look like they are going the way of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 CF Zens. Many have broke—and people are making it known online. HOWEVER, until they break, the bats are flat out HOT.

2018 CF Zen vs 2019 CF Zen2019 DeMarini CF Zen

In the USSSA big barrel versions of the CF ZEn, the 2019 CF Zen is more like the 2017 version than it is the 2018 (or retooled 2017) version. Specifically, the 2018 version has a ring inside the barrel. This was added in the 2017 version of the bat to make it relegal in USSSA.

The BBCOR versions of the CF Zen from 2016 to 2019 have not changed much. They did change from a D-Fusion handle in 2016 to a 3-Fusion in 2019. (This is in reference to the handle). Otherwise, the swing weight has stayed about the same and the barrel size is about the same too.

A USA version of the CF Zen was late to the party in the 2018. But, when it finally did come out it looked and felt great. The 2019 version of the USA Zen doesn’t expect to change much from the 2018 version. All reports are it is the same bat but with some upgraded graphics.

2019 DeMarini CF Zen Recommendations

In every league and association, the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen is for the high level player that likes a great feel on contact and light swing. The only people who do not buy the bat fall into two categories:

  1. Don’t play enough games as to need to, or just don’t want to, afford it. The CF Zen has always been (and we expect always will be) expensive. It runs at the highest price point in each of the categories it is made (USSSA, BBCOR and USA).
  2. Feel spurned by DeMarini in that previous year’s versions of the bat has durability issues.

Otherwise, the bat is a monster. Go to any little league game (especially USSSA/Big Barrel) and you’ll see the CF Zen is swung by the best kids on the best teams. Occassioanlly a bat like the CAT 8 creeps in, but mostly the CF Zen in its heavier drops.

Concerning the durability, we’d recommend steering towards the drop 8 or 5 as to give yourself as much life as possible in the bat. But, even if you are a drop 10 swinger, if you are up for potentially dealing with a warranty and play a lot of baseball games then the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen will be a bomb maker.

2019 DeMarini CF Zen Sizing

  • BBCOR (Drop 3)
  • USSSA (Drop 5, 8, 10)
  • USA (Drop 10)

3 Things to KNOW about Axe Bat Reviews

Axe Bat Reviews

Axe Bat Reviews are all over the internet. Mostly because they have made so many different iterations of the bat since their inception in 2014 (or thereabouts). But, also, because enough people have liked the bats to get them on the short list of many serious players.

You can read about our specific takes on individual bats on our BBCOR bats page. This serves as our general Axe Bat Review page.

Best 2019 BBCOR Bats

Where to Buy Axe Bats

Axe has decent distribution, especially online. You can find their bats at most major online retailers. Of course, the favorite place to check is on eBay. Finding used models for great prices and last year’s models for clear out prices is common place. Axe’s website is also a legit place to find deals and options.

3 Axe Bat Reviews Principles You Must Understand

Axe bats, although more common now then they were in 2014, still bewilder some hitters. The idea of a bat that only makes contact on one side, has an odd shaped handle and a weird end cap is not intuitive. But, after much research, we find that any Axe Bat Review must discuss three items. They are, in no particular order, the asymmetric handle, the asymmetric knob and a one sided hitting.

Asymmetric Knob

The most obvious feature of an Axe bat is one the one that proves the bat’s name brand. Axe bats come with an axe shaped handle. The handle gives you a more ergonomic feel.

Axe has more than one study “proving” bat speed is indeed faster with an ergonomic handle. These studies have all been funded by Axe so its hard to say they were unbiased. But, the idea of a faster swing because of an oval knob makes sesnse to at least a few folks who know what they are talking about. Take, for example, Dustin Pedroria..

One Sided Hitting

Another piece to think through on the Axe Bat is that if you always hold the handle the same then you will always hit the ball on the same side of the barrel. In some respects this is just like a wood bat. Wood has a stronger side, naturally. Players speak about this as the face grain and make sure they make contact with the barrel side up.

Axe Bats, although metal or composite, are built with a stronger side in mind. They use the predictability of the impact to design a barrel that is more durable and focused performance.

Asymmetric End Cap

The final piece of the equation, which Axe added just a few years ago, is the use of an asymmetric end cap. Since the bat only has one sided hitting because of the asymmetric knob then  the backside of the barrel doesn’t need to be as long. So, Axe shaves off some of the end cap on the backside. (Really, they just design it such that it scopes down towards the barrel. This feature, in turn, removes mass from the end of the barrel and lowers swing weight.

Axe calls this end cap design the Hyperwhip.

Axe Bat Reviews by Type

In the beginning Axe only made a BBCOR bat. That was, they only had a highschool/NCCA approved bat. That was just a few short years ago.

Now, Axe has a bat at every level of the sport.

Wood: they not only make their own wood bats for the amateur level, but also license their oval knob to a few companies like Victus, Chandler and more.

BBCOR: They make a number of different types of highschool approved bats. The Avenge, Origin and Elite are thier most popular.

USSSA: Axe Bats also makes a few big barrel versions of the bats. Expect to see an Avenge, Elite and Origin too.

USA/Youth: In 2018 Axe made an Elite in USA. Expect to see that expanded to an Avenge as well is the 2019 USA Bat lineup.

2019 USA Bats

2019 USA Bats

2019 USA Bats look to improve upon their first year iterations. Many of those 2018 versions struggled to be within weight, durable and without hand sting. Some, the like 618 Solo, were stellar. Expect them to begin release circa the Little League World Series when Easton unveils there 2019 USA Bat lineup. While the best youth bats can be found here, below we discuss what we know so far about 2019 USA Bats.

Easton 2019 USA Bats

Easton expects to deliver several different USA bats for 2019. Expect an upgraded Ghost X called the Ghost Evolution. You will also see a lighter version of the Beast X Hybrid in a Beast X Speed. Also, a number of single piece bats including an upgrade on the hyperlite composite and several single piece aluminum USA Bats.

Easton Beast

2019 USA Bats

Easton Beast20`19 USA Bats

Easton Beast X Speed2019 USA Bats

DeMarini 2019 USA Bats

DeMarini releases a new 2019 ZEN, Voodoo Balanced, Voodoo One and several less expensive USA bats for 2019. The Zen looks to be the best USA Bat on the market but will find stiff competition from Easton and Slugger lines.

DeMarini CF Zen

DeMarini Voodoo Balanced

2019 USA Bats

DeMarini Voodoo One

2019 USA Bats

DeMarini Sabatoge

2019 USA Bats

DeMarini Sabatoge

2019 USA Bats

Rawlings 2019 USA Bats

2019 USA bats for Rawlings are back in full force. They release a 5150, VELO and new Quatro Pro. The Quatro Pro looks to improve upon its durability. While the 5150 and VELO expand their light swinging barrels. Expect a full range of drops in the 5150 and VELO as well as a possible Drop 8 in the Quatro Pro for USA bats.

Quatro Pro

Rawlings 5150

2019 USA Bats

Rawlings VELO

2019 USA Bats

Louisville Slugger 2019 USA Bats

Slugger, the surprise of 2018 USA Bats, releases a full line of 2019 USA Bats. The addition of the 919 is a welcome site. This two piece composite in the USA space, with a ligth swing a big barrel, might be just what the doctor ordered in the space. The 718 Select was a huge hit in 2018 and the 2019 719 should be too. The most popular 618 Solo follows up with a light swining 2019 USA 618 Solo.

Louisville Slugger 919 Prime

2019 USA Bats

Louisville Slugger 718 Select2019 USA Bats

Louisville Slugger 618 Solo

2019 USA Bats

Axe 2019 USA Bats

Expect a full line of 2019 USA Bats from Axe. The asymmetric handle company produces a new end cap on their USA Bats. You’ll see a two piece composite, hybrid and single piece USA Bat like this Axe Origin.

Axe Origin

2019 USA Bats

Mizuno 2019 USA Bats

The wild card in the 2019 USA Bat space will be Mizuno. They produced the Ghost last year to decent success. The 2019 versions of their USA line come redesigned and focused on a great look with good feel and a HUGE barrel.

Hot Metal

2019 USA Bats

MAXCor

Dirty South 2019 USA Bats

Although Dirty South Bats does not use the annual/year nomenclature for their bats, expect some 2019 releases in the USA space from this home grown company. The MADE from 2018 did well enough, and the market demand for high performing USA bats is great enough, to justify the investment.

Dirty South Swag (USSSA)

2019 USA Bats

4 Dirty South Bats Things You NEED to Know

Dirty South Bats

Dirty South Bats is bat company based in Atlanta, Georgia. They have delivered remarkable results from gorilla & grass roots marketing via facebook and other social channels. Many users of the bats swear by them. Others are surprised by their hype when the bats just alright. The positives focus on the bats barrel size and perceived pop, the negatives focus on the fact they are overpriced and ring hands on mishits.

Dirty South Bats

Best Place To Buy

Dirty South Bats controls most of their distribution internally. That is, they only sell them on their site. Just Bats picked up the bats for a few months, still has some, but doesn’t have a very large quantity or selection. The actual best place to buy the bats is on eBay used. You’ll need to be diligent as the selection isn’t huge. But, you can find them used, new in wrapper and “refurbished” (whatever that means).

Dirty South Bats Lineup

To date, DSB only produces bats in the youth bat and fastpitch bat space. The youth space includes bats in the USA Bat space as well as the USSSA 1.15 BPF.

Dirty South doesn’t use the year nomenclature that most bat companies do. This is a common practice for smaller companies not willing to commit to an annual release. However, DSB does release a new bat every few months. These are almost always spruced up images on three main ideas:

Dirty South Dirt: 4 Things to Know Before Buying…

Dirty South started in the business mimicking Combat. The Combat MAXUM, a huge barreled single piece composite bat, was all the rage in circa 2016 when the barrel size truly dwarfed any other bat out there. The idea was that a bigger barrel profile was the main differentiation between any bat. If the standard (1.15bpf) was the same then the only thing the industry could make better was a can’t miss barrel, right?

The idea fizzled when Combat, the company, got scrapped in a parent company bankruptcy. But Dirty South was there to pick up the hype and run with it. Many parents and players in the market for the biggest barrel undoubtedly came across the Dirty South literature and marketing plants on facebook and the internets. The single piece composites of the early days hit the ball well. And the rest is history.

The idea that a bigger barrel profile is always better is far from settled. But, DSB continues to make some of the biggest barrels on the market. (The biggest, actually, is Mizuno’s Ghost). Their mainstay is still the single piece composite.

Every several months they update or come out with a new single piece composite. The story is the barrel just keeps getting bigger and the sweet spot just keeps getting longer.

In the latest iteration, they use a “continuous fiber” in their barrels—which is exactly what the Combat MAXUM claimed to used in their last iteration before going chapter 11. (Easton picked up Combat bats name an inventory).

DSB appears to be thriving in the industry. They benefited from the vacuum created the Combat dismissal. After a meteoric rise their market share appears to be leveling off.

Dirty South Bat Recommendations

The bats perform well. And those looking for a single piece composite with a huge barrel will find themselves wondering if they should send their money to someone besides Amazon or eBay or one of the big vendors or manufacturers. You wouldn’t be the first to do so. Strong and elite hitters like the big barrels and stiff feel. They will like the drop 5’s and 8’s more than the drop 10.

Smaller or average sized hitters tend to prefer two piece bats. At the kind of price point DSB is asking for their bats most smaller hitters will have better success with a highly rated two piece composite bat.

Single Piece Composite

At the time of this writing here are the single piece composite bats produced by Dirty South Bats:

  • Dirt Demon (Drop 10)
  • KAMO (Drop 5, 8, 10, 12)
  • MADE (Drop 12)
  • Swag (Drop 5, 8, 10, 12)
  • Texas Strong (Drop 5, 8, 10, 12)
  • Texas Big (Drop 5, 8, 10, 12)
  • WAR Platinum (Drop 9, 11)
  • Lady Swag (Fastpitch Drop 8, 9, 10, 11)
  • Midnight (Fastpitch Drop 8, 9, 10, 11)
  • WAR (Drop 8, 10, 12)

Two Piece Composite

  • MADE (Drop 12)
  • SWAG  (Drop 10, 12)

2019 Louisville Slugger 919 Prime Review

919 Prime Review

Slugger continues to produce a two piece composite bat to be reckoned with. The 919 Louisville Slugger Prime for 2019 class tops out Slugger’s baseball line. The bat changed its connection piece from the Tru3 to the VCX in hopes to improve some durability. But, the BBCOR version of the bat was durable enough. Recommendations and reviews on the Prime 919 follow.

2019 Slugger 919 Prime Review

Where To Buy

As always, the first best place to look for a new bat in wrapper is eBay. Sellers have mostly downward pressure there and its a good place to find an under the radar vendor looking to unload some inventory. Bats like these don’t come up off of gauranteed pricing until late in 2018. So, don’t expect to get any legitimate discounts from major sellers before then. Until then, you can either pay full price for the peace of mind or look for something on eBay.

919 Sizing

2019 Slugger 919 Prime Review

919 Prime USA

The major piece of news in all of Louisville Slugger (save the Meta 9) is the 2019 addition of a USA 919 Prime. The bat comes in a drop 10 with lengths from 29 to 32. The drop is difference between the length of the bat in inches and the wight of the bat in ounces.

919 Prime BBCOR

The 919 also comes in a highschool/NCAA bat. It is, of course, a drop 3. The lengths will span from 29 inches to 34 inches. Expect the 29-inch BBCOR version of the 919 to be the lightest swinging BBCOR bat on the market.

919 Prime USSSA

The 919 Prime will also come in a 2 3/4 drop 8, 10 and drop 12 USSSA version. Expect this to look just like the 919 BBCOR. This also has the upgraded VCX handle instead of the Tru3. You’ll also see the bats in a very short size like a 28/18. Real great hit.

918 vs 919

919 Prime Review

The only differences in the 919 and the 918 is the connective piece. They changed from the Tru3 to the VCX. Technially, there isn;’t much difference between the two. They shored up some durability issues. But, overall, the changes are small enough to be unoticable and chalk them up to marketing hype.

Turns out, though, the 2018 918 was a great bat. The 919 Prime will also go down as a great bat. Big barrel, smooth swing on both these bats put them at the top of the class.

See our 2018 Louisville Slugger 918 Prime Review.

919 vs 719 vs 619 vs 519

919 Prime Swing Weights

The Prime, Select, Solo and Omaha are each of the four different types of bats you can find in the non-wood space. The 919 is a two piece composite, the 719 is a hybrid (composite handle, aluminum barrel), the 619 is a single piece aluminum with an extended composite end cap and the 519 is a single piece aluminum.

The only type of bat they don’t cover is a single piece composite. (Oh wait…here comes the 819 or the Dirty South Bat lineup).

Swing weights are close as you can see from the chart taken from Slugger’s site directly.

2019 Marucci CAT 8 Review

2019 Marucci CAT 8 Review

You will have a hard time finding a bat more hyped than the 2019 Marucci CAT 8. The bat is an upgrade to the 2017 CAT 7 and uses the same tapered inside barrel to increase the barrel size and sweet spot. It also uses a newly redesigned piece in the knob that helps dampen sting even more. For 2018 expect a slew of drop 10, 8 and 5’s for big barrel bats as well as the BBCOR version of the bat.

2019 Marucci CAT 8 BBCOR Review

The best place to buy the CAT 8 is on eBay. It drives the best price as sellers are looking to unload inventory. Of course don’t expect any serious discounts on the at until closer to 2020. And, even then. Considering the 2016/17 version of the bat still sells close to its original price then good luck finding a deal.

CAT 8 vs CAT 7

2019 Marucci CAT 8 Review

There is not a considerable amount of change in the CAT 7 when compared to the CAT 8. They did change the number of levels of thickness between the two bats from 7 to 8. they also upgraded the knob. But, if you can find the CAT 7 for a discount then getting that one, while supplies last, would be smart.

The big changes in the CAT line for 2019 and beyond is the addition of a CAT Composite.

See the CAT 7 Review.

CAT 8 vs CAT 8 Connect

2019 CAT 8 Connect Review

The CAT 8 and CAT 8 Connect differ in that the Connect is a two piece Hybrid bat. That is, a hybrid has a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. The idea is that two pieces make it so your hands don’t sting as much on impact.

In the CAT line that doesn’t make a ton of sense, right? What about the fancy knob that dampens sting?

Well, basically, the knob doesn’t completely dampen sting. It does work at least a little bit. Folks, even younger folks, say they love how it feels. The two piece Hybrid CAT 8 Connect (as well as the CAT 7 version) will feel better on hits and mishits. Also, its worth noting, the CAT 8 Connect has a heavier swing weight than the CAT 8.

There was also a CAT 7 Connect. It ran with the same idea of a heavier swing weight and ONLY in BBCOR for the same reasons. See the CAT 7 Connect review.

2019 CAT 8 Recommendations

Those that prefer a stiff feeling single piece bat with a pretty decent feel will like the CAT 8. Generally, reviews suggest that bigger and stronger hitters will do better with the bat.

It is also recommendable for players that want a very cool bat. We know that sounds a bit hokey, but the truth is Marucci has done an outstanding job making a single piece bat sing not just on the field but also in the marketing buzz. It is helpful, too, the bat sounds great on impact.

CAT 8 Resources

Marucci’s site has some good information on the CAT 8—of course it is a lot of marketing fluff. You can also find some insight on Bat Digest as well as JustBats and Dicks Sporting Goods.

2018 DeMarini CF Insane BBCOR Review

2018 DeMarini CF Insane BBCOR REview

The 2018 DeMarini CF Insane BBCOR is a high quality baseball bat built for players looking for speed and superior handling at the field. The bat is made from 2-piece composites constructed with a top grade composite barrel and handle.

These two parts are joined together with an attachment piece known as the 3 Fusion, which is probably the most impressive feature of this year’s series of bats. 3 Fusion has removed excessive weight from the connective unit, thus allowing you to have better control of the equipment.

Furthermore, the bat’s point of balance is found lower down the barrel and this provides more power at contact compared to other brands, assuming that the swing weight remains constant while playing.

Benefits

The BBCOR’s streamlined body allows you to make transitions smoothly without putting too much effort.

The bat’s end loaded balance provides greater mass at impact.

It’s a BBCOR certified bat meaning it can be used in Highschool and Collegiate Play.

Equipped with Paraflex barrel material which makes it feel lighter than it actually is.

Features

3Fusion Handle

This brand new feature aims to remove vibrations and ball sting when you make awkward swings with your bat. Sometimes taking a bad shot can be painful, especially for those who are new to baseball and aren’t used to such encounters. The 3Fusion Handle will prevent you from hurting your back and hands unnecessarily; even contact on the bat’s lower end won’t cause any sting.

Apart from reduced stinging and vibrations, the handle has also been built to be more rigid than usual. This allows for minimal flex when swinging which is great for power hitters seeking to take their best swings yard.

End Loaded Swing

The bat contains tremendous power coming from the barrel and handle, it has more load at the barrel’s end which is of great advantage for mashers. Nonetheless, despite all the extra features found in it, Demarini has still made the bat to be considerably lighter to swing thus making it suitable for contact-hitters as well. As the manufacturers say, it provides you a great balance of speed and power.

Paraflex Composite Barrel

This material allows you to enjoy tremendous hitting performance right after purchasing your 2018 DeMarini CF Insane BBCOR from the store, you don’t have to break it in before use like other baseball bats. In other words, you can take it right from the shelf to your upcoming game without doing any prior adjustments.

Moreover, the barrel on Insane BBCOR has slightly been extended from the previous model, so as to give you a longer focus point or sweet spot for making ball contact more often.

As for player type, it’s an endloaded bat that normally does well for power hitters. However, the bat still has sufficient balance as to find a home in contact hitter's hands too. Those looking for a little bit extra power with sufficient end load will find it quite appropriate.

You might also like our 2018 CF Zen BBCOR Bat Review

Who is it meant for?

2018 DeMarini CF Insane BBCOR REview

The 2018 DeMarini CF Insane Endlaoded BBCOR is one of the most advanced baseball bats the company has ever created for younger players. Though it can be used by any player interested in a good bat, it’s usually reserved for competitive players at high school or much older levels.

According to the manufacturers, 2018 CF Insane BBCOR is an end loaded composite stick in their collection. The bat is perfect for you if you’re in need of speed through the field zone, or skipping into the BBCOR game. It will help you upgrade your game and performance instantly.

Summary

The 2018 DeMarini BBCOR is an advanced baseball bat that continues on the great legacy of superior quality already paved by its predecessors. A lot of technology went into creating this model so that it can be suitable for use by its target group, mainly consisting of competitive high school and college baseball players.

One of its most significant features is the connective piece which eliminates vibration from the handlebar, and also stinging. This ultimately gives you greater confidence and feel at the pitch. Furthermore, the 2018 DeMarini BBCOR has a less bulky construction compared to its competitors, which allows for more accurate dial in swing-weight throughout the bat. This product will make a great tool for players interested in upgrading their game.





2018 DeMarini CF Zen BBCOR Review

2018 DeMarini CF Zen BBCOR Review

Now, I’m not saying that I’m cut straight out of the MLB cloth, but I have been known to pitch around some. I won’t call myself a power hitter either, because that’s , again, way above my pay grade. While my skills on the courtside don’t count for much, I know more than a little about baseball bats and have been watching
the marketplace for as long as I can remember. I know a good bat when I see one, and I can almost always feel the strength of the grip of any of the bats out there. That, plus a ton of research on these little gems  makes me a real baseball bat connoisseur. This piece is going to be a review of the 2018 DeMarini CF Zen in BBCOR, and you are going to love it.

See all our BBCOR Bat Reviews

Recommendations

This is the kind of bat you want to go for if you are a
contact hitter. The reason for this is that it has a balance of weight and power and therefore
allows a very even grip. While the bat is
most ideal in the hands of a contact hitter, it still has enough power in it to
accommodate the whims of a power hitter. However, if you are looking for a
little more of an end load, then the advice would be to look elsewhere. The
2018 CF Zen is made for competitive players from high school all the way to the
highest ranked professional leagues.

Bat construction

2018 DeMarini CF Zen BBCOR Review

With this model, DeMarini has used its popular ParaFlex material
to build the barrel. This material makes for a good swing and power. In
addition to that, it is sturdy and won’t break midway through practice. The
long barrel gives you an opportunity to add power to your swing and connect
with the ball more often, which makes for plenty of power shots.

In addition to a good, balanced design with a good grip, the
Zen also comes with a new feature, the 3Fusion handle that works towards
eliminating sting and vibrations when the hitter makes an unbalanced swing. Less
sting means a higher level of accuracy and hence better performance. The handle
is quite rigid, and this provides some good flex, especially when in the hands of a power hitter.

Compared to last year’s model

2018 CF ZEn BBCOR Review

The 2017 model of the Zen didn’t come with the 3Fusion handle, and that was a real problem because it used to sort of spin out of form and ruin what would otherwise be some very good swings. The lack of this type of handle did little to help with problems related to sting and vibration, and while it was a good bat by any standards, it couldn’t scale the dizzying heights of performance the 2018 version is capable of. The new bat also comes with a longer barrel, and any hitter will tell you what kind of contact that provision makes for.

Comparable bats

2018 CF ZEn BBCOR REview

For DeMarini, high performance bats have always been part of the job description, and this bat is an upgrade of most of those varieties. CF Zen has some similarities with its predecessors such CF7, CF8 and CF9. Sure , a good number of things have changed, such as the level of precision expected as well as the materials used to make the various components. However, the operation technique has not changed much, and there is a consistent focus on ease of use and tact.

CF Zen’s sister version for 2018, the CF Insane, is also a lot like others in its pool but has a modified end load, making it ideal for power hitters.

Best places to buy

eBay and Amazon seem to be the places to look if this is the bat you have set your eyes on. At the moment, Amazon is offering it at up to about $449.95 on the high end and seems to be shipping the product for free around the world. eBay is selling the bat at the same price but then slapping you with
a $50+ shipping fee, so amazon is definitely the better deal at the moment.

Sizing

The bat is available from 29 all the way to 34-inch lengths. The various models offer drops at
5,8,10 and 12.

2018 Easton Ghost X Review | Easton’s New Two Piece Composite

2018 Easton Ghost X Review

Easton leaves behind the MAKO in 2018 and moves into the Ghost X series of bats. Like the MAKO these are two piece composite bats built with a light swing a big barrel. They will serve the same population of hitters that need/want as much barrel as possible on a smooth swinging stick. I have seen the Easton Ghost X and used it and now I write our 2018 Easton Ghost X Review.

Where to buy the Easton Ghost X?

The only place to find deals on the Ghost X is eBay...

2018 Easton Ghost X Review

2018 Eaton Ghost X Sizing

Easton's Ghost X will come in several different sizes. I list them below in the bullet points. The 2018 brand of bats will be offered in the most robust offering of any bat line in 2018. Expect to see the bat in a BBCOR from sizes 30 to 34 as well as a number of USSSA bats including a drop 5, drop 8 and drop 10. As well, the new USAbat will be an interesting take as Easton is set to release atleast one line of 2 5/8 drop 10 USAbats.

  • BBCOR
  • USABat
  • Big Barrel Drop 5
  • Big Barrel Drop 8
  • Big Barrel Drop 10
  • USAbat Drop 10

2018 Easton Ghost X Recommendations

As the most popular overall bat made in the world, you can expect Easton's premier bat line to be useful for most types of hitters. The only ones I would suggest do not use the Easton Ghost X are those who like single piece bats, those who want something that is more stiff, those who like hot out of the wrapper aluminum or those who do not like two piece bats.

Otherwise, you can expect the following characteristics in players that should really appreciate the great smash of the 2018 Easton Ghost.

  • Prefer a lighter Swing
  • Like a bat that feels good even on poor contact.
  • Use a bat where every hit feels like a homerun.
  • A bat with a balanced swing weight (not too heavy, not too light)
  • Is looking for a USAbat.
  • Have a bat that feels like every hit is a homerun

2018 Easton Ghost X Ratings

Durability

If the Easton Ghost X struggles in any department I expect it to be durability. Not because the bat is poorly made. On the contrary, the bat is one of the best two piece composites on the market. But, instead, because two piece composite bats have a lot of chances to break. That is, they can become dysfunctional on the connective piece, the barrel, the end cap or the handle. Each, although separate crafted well, have more points of structure that might break. It is the nature of two piece composite bats.

As such, I suggest you buy these bats places that offer a real warranty and a real receipt.

Performance

Although the entire line of bats, and each of the models, are hard to stuff into one category of performance, I think the Easton Ghost X will be one of the best performing bats on the market for 2018. No doubt about it. Expect the best from these bats because it is likely you will get it regardless of what model size you purchase.

Sizing Options

The Easton Ghost X will come in just about every size imaginable. I'd like to see some additional drops added to the USAbat space (instead of just the drop 10) but I can't have everything. Hence the reason this rating gets a 99/100 instead of a 100/100.

User Ratings

Although it is early, my preliminary testing and reading others thoughts make this 2018 Easton Ghost X on the short list of great bats. I fully expect this bat to be as loved in the BBCOR, Big Barrel and USAbat space as the Mako's that preceded it.

Overall Score

As of this writing, the overall ranking of the Ghost X is as high as I have given any bat. Much can change throughout the 2018 season, no doubt. But, for now, I think this bat is going to do be dynamite.


Easton Ghost X Sources

If you are looking for places to read more about the Easton Ghost X I would suggest the 2018 bat section directly on Easton's website. There you will find all the up to date sizing options as well as MSRP pricing options. Good luck and happy hitting!