Best Fastpitch Softball Bats – 5 Choices for a better Swing! (2020 Update)
This page takes a detailed dive into the best fastpitch softball bats to improve your play this year.
Tired of using your old bat for another season? Looking for a bit of an upgrade? Want to improve your performance?
Although we can’t help you with additional practice and swing technique, we certainly feel we can help by providing you with a list of the top fastpitch bat choices available for 2020.
As you are aware, there are a ton of fastpitch bats in the market and deciding on the top one is a challenge!
Another thing that makes it even harder is that just because it works good for one player doesn’t quite mean that it will work for another. Finding the right bat certainly isn’t easy. There are different bats for different types of hitters (i.e. end loaded or balanced), and different size/speed considerations.
Here are our ideal choices for the 2020 season:
|Image||Fastpitch Bat||Review (/5)||Price||Drop||Swing||Latest Price|
|Louisville Xeno X19||5||$$||-8, -9, -10, -11||Balanced|
|Demarini CF Zen||5||$$||-10, -11||Balanced|
|Louisville PXT X19||4.5||$$||-8, -9, -10||Balanced (slightly end loaded)||Demarini CF Insane||4.5||$$||-8, -9, -10||End Loaded|
|Easton Ghost Double Barrel||4||$$$||-9, -10, -11||Balanced|
What's Included on this page:
- 1- Louisville Xeno X19
- 2- Demarini CF Zen
- 3- Louisville PXT X19
- 4- Demarini CF Insane
- 5- Easton Ghost Double Barrel
- Guidelines for Finding the Best Fastptich Softball Bats in 2020
1- Louisville Xeno X19
Despite the Xeno X18 being one of our top picks for the 2018 season, we still feel that the newest 2019 Louisville Xeno X19 is a great pick for this year. When it comes to baseball bats, Louisville Slugger is almost always in the top spot. This is because they create every bat with the same attention to detail. The Xeno is the result of Louisville pushing the limits when it comes to innovation and design.
The Zero Friction double wall design allows the barrel to legally exceed the standard exit speed ratio. This allows the barrel to flex as far as it can possibly go without sacrificing performance.
The XENO is made using Louisville’s superior composite material. The material is light yet extremely durable. If you have used the previous version of this bat, you will notice the difference instantly. And thanks to S1iD technology, there is no break in needed. It is literally ready to go right out the box.
This bat also features iST Connection, a new technology that creates a strong bond between the barrel of the bat and the handle. With iST you will have a somewhat stiffer feel to the bat and the transfer of energy will be all the more efficient. The huge sweet spot makes hitting the ball easier and it helps absorb some of the vibrations before they make their way to your hands.
If you desire to have absolute control when you step up to the plate, the Louisville XENO might be the best choice for your tool kit. It should provide you with all the confidence you need to hit every ball out the park. Hopefully you feel like you are holding pure power in the palm of your hands! If you like what you’ve read so far, you might be even more interested in our Louisville Xeno review which has been updated to include the newest 2019 X19 model.
2- Demarini CF Zen
Each and every year, the Demarini CF series is one of the best fastpitch bats available. This year the model has been slightly re-vamped as the all-new CF Zen series. It is the latest bat in the DeMarini line and it is sure to impress.
The great thing about this bat is it uses DeMarini’s new Paraflex+ Composite material which according to the specification sheet is made with 22% stronger fibers than the Paradox Plus material used in previous iterations. This material is used in both the barrel which should provide it with a higher level of strength. All things considered, this gives the bat a sweet spot that is not only more responsive, but bigger and hotter as well. As a result, you should be able to generate more power with every swing.
Both the handle and end cap of the CF Zen have been equipped with another Demarini technology – 3-Fusion. This 3-Fusion technology should allow the bat to feel softer upon impact. It is also responsible for eliminating vibration, providing better bat control, and more importantly increased performance.
Vibration elimination is extremely important when it comes to off center hits. If you have ever hit the ball off center you know how painful it can be. Your hands take a serious beating. The 3-Fusion handle technology vibration is reduced leaving your hands better protected. Instead of energy going through your hands, it is redirected into the barrel of the bat upon contact. This means you get better feel, more power and less sting. You will also get better sound every time you hit the ball.
To optimize the trampoline effect, the CF Zen is constructed using a stacked double wall. This construction provides the highest level of performance allowed in regulation. The CF series from Demarini could be considered as one of the best series of bats of all time and I am guessing the CF Zen would be an ideal choice for many players. Like what you see so far? Check out our Demarini CFX review.
3- Louisville PXT X19
The Louisville PXT X19 is another great Louisville option that burst onto the scene last year. Although, we’ve noted the Xeno as our top pick, the PXT X19 could be the better choice – at a premium. So, for competitive high school and collegiate players, this one might make the better choice due to its advanced features.
Let’s get down to this feature list, shall we? For starters, the most important part has to be the MASS FX Loaded sweet spot technology. After all – for hitters, having a large powerful sweet spot is ideal when adding power. This technology is supposed to add more weight when you make solid contact. This in turn adds more momentum and pop into your swing which hopefully gives you that extra 10 feet to get the ball over the fence!
Another interesting technology that is included is the VCX technology. If you’ve ever had a mis-hit and felt ball string, you’ll enjoy hearing about this feature. Although I’m not entirely sure how this works, the feature list indicates that both the barrel and handle move independent of one another. Going back to mis-hits and ball sting, I can imagine that this will help reduce these vibrations quite a bit especially if they are contained in the barrel.
Like the Xeno X19, the PXT X19 also uses an advanced comfort grip system to help you control your swing without feeling like it is falling out of your hands. This is quite beneficial in damp weather as well as you don’t have to put an increased amount of strength into your grip and make things feel uncomfortable.
Outside of these main features there are others as well such as how well it is supposed to distribute power across the barrel, and its durability.
Again – although a bit pricey – I feel like high school ands collegiate players could get a lot out of this well reviewed bat.
4- Demarini CF Insane
The DeMarini CF Insane fastpitch softball bat is one of the newest bats in the DeMarini line. And like all their bats, this baby was born hardcore! This new version hit the market in 2019 and should continue to make a huge impression like the CFX version had done. If you are a power hitter, or the type of player who has confidence in their ability to hit the ball with speed and control, this bat was developed just for you.
The CFX Insane has been built with -8, -9, and -10 length to weight ratios which most players should be familiar with. The bat is also end loaded which gives it a slight sledgehammer effect. Therefore, when you hit the ball you should feel the power – especially on fly balls.
Thanks to DeMarini’s new Paraflex+ Composite material, this bat should be stronger than any of its previous versions. Its big, hot and will make every swing more powerful. If you have used the previous model, you will quickly be able to notice the difference when you swing.
This year’s model also utilizes a brand new 3-Fusion handle technology. This technology works by redirecting energy back into the barrel once it makes contact with the ball. This helps protect the player’s hands by reducing, or in some cases, completely eliminating vibrations. You will also get a much better “pop” when you hit the ball.
It is constructed using the stacked double wall which maximizes and optimizes trampoline effect. When it comes to fastpitch regulations, this bat has the highest performance rating. To see even more details on this model, please check out our full Demarini CFX Insane review.
5- Easton Ghost Double Barrel
The Easton Ghost double barrel softball bat should make a splash in 2020 for USSSA players. One of the first things you are probably wondering is what does Easton mean when they use the term “double barrel”?
This technology is brand new and has only been developed recently. In fact, Easton has a patent pending on this technology so they could be the only brand able to use it if things work to their favor. The main benefit of the double barrel design is to provide a never seen combination of comfort and pop. Although this certainly can only be judged by the hitter, it certainly sounds promising!
Outside of the double barrel, the Easton Ghost also includes an Xtra tough Resin Matrix technology. It is this technology that gives it amazing swing speed, durability, a nice large sweet spot, and one of the best feeling when making solid contact. Besides having a barrel that is longer than most bats you see in softball, a great portion of that barrel is able to reach its maximum flex thanks to the Resin Matrix technology being used.
Another feature common to quite a few bats now is the use of a connector (Easton uses the name ConneXion+) technology. The main benefit of this extra connection piece is to provide the hitter with a more seamless feeling between the handle and barrel. If you’ve ever swung a stiff two-piece bat, you’ll notice a big difference in this case as it should provide you with a great amount of flex through the swing motion.
The HYPERSKIN performance grip ensures the bat will remain firmly planted in the palm of your hands until you choose to let it go.
As any hitter will tell you, confidence is the most important factor when it comes to a player’s overall performance. With the Easton Ghost, your confidence will more than likely fly through the roof. If you play in a USSSA-approved league, and your goal is to increase your power and take your game to a whole new level, this one deserves consideration!
Guidelines for Finding the Best Fastptich Softball Bats in 2020
That being said there are several things you should look at when making your decision:
- Construction – What your bat is made of goes a long way in determining a few things including durability, ability to break it in quicker, and more
- Drop – A common lingo with fastpitch bats is the amount of drop that are included. The drop which ranges from -8 to -13 represents the length to weight ratio. For instance a 32 inch/22 ounce bat would have a drop rating of -10. The higher the drop (i.e. -8 and -9) the more power one can generate. The most common drop however is -10.
- League regulations – some bats are only approved for certain leagues. For instance some marked as USSSA may not be able to be used for ASA players.
As I mentioned earlier there are a ton of different choices you can choose from, all with their positives and negatives. Further below on this page we feature what we believe are the best overall choices. However, you may want to take a peak at our comparison chart that has been updated for the 2020 season. If we want more details however we have provided quick reviews on this page.
What is Bat Drop?
When it comes to purchasing a fastpitch bat there are many different questions you will have. Some of the more common ones include what type of material is best, what brand or model is best, what’s the right size bat, end loaded or balanced, and what is bat drop? First we will take a look at bat drop. The length minus the weight of the bat is known as bat drop. If a bat is 32” long and weighs 22 ounces, that means the bat drop is -10. When searching for bats you will find a -10 bat drop is the most common. Please know the drop of the bat does not dictate or indicate whether the bat is end loaded or balanced.
At some point, if the player wants to continue playing at higher levels, they will have to elevate their game and learn how to cover the outside of the plate. The bat drop you get will depend on the type of player you have and what they are trying to accomplish. For instance, if the player you are purchasing the bat for wants to maintain bat speed and improve control, a longer bat may be the best option. However, you don’t want a bat that’s heavier. And that’s where bat drop comes into play. In this situation, a bat with a bat drop of -11, -12, or -13 would be the best option. If the player is strong enough to maintain bat speed and control with a bat that’s longer and heavier, opt for a bat drop of -8, -9, or -10.
With that being said, it is important you know if the bat you are using is end loaded or balanced. While the player may be able to maintain speed and control using a balanced bat with a -10 bat drop, that may not be the case if the bat is end loaded. If you have no experience when it comes to choosing a bat, your best bet is to visit a local retailer and let them walk you through the process. They will be able to answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. If at all possible, visit a retailer with batting cages. This way you can try out the bat before you purchase it.
Balanced or End Loaded fastpitch bats?
When it comes to choosing the right fastpitch bat there are a lot of very important factors you need to consider. One of those factors is knowing the difference between a balanced bat versus an end loaded bat.
A balanced bat is just want it sounds like. Its balanced due to its evenly distributed weight. Balanced bats are actually the most commonly used bats. Especially for younger players who don’t have a lot of strength. If you are looking to generate as much speed as possible, this is the type of bat you want to use. Contact hitters, also referred to as base hitters, will often choose a balanced bat because it helps them swing with more control. The more control you have the easier it is to hit the ball through the zone. This control comes from the lower moment of inertia balanced bats have.
Unlike a balanced bat, the end loaded bat has extra weight in the barrel. This allows you to hit the ball a greater distance due to the momentum you get when you swing the bat. End loaded bats are great for power hitters as they tend to have more strength. Generally speaking you will find anywhere between a 0.5 oz to 3 oz load in the barrel of the bat.
When determining which bat is best for you, its all about figuring out which type of bat you feel most comfortable swinging. Go for a round of batting practices so you can assess your swing. If you aren’t getting the results you want with one type of bat, try switching things up. If at all possible, try out an end loaded bat and a balanced bat back to back. This way you will be able to immediately feel the difference.
Keep in mind the bat you use must meet league standards. There are many different leagues all of which have many different standards. It is your responsibility to make sure the bat you use is in line with the standards set forth by the league you play in.
Aluminum Bats or Composite Bats
When it comes to constructing fastpitch softball bats the process has evolved quite a bit over the years. At one time the only material available was solid wood. Now players can choose between wood, aluminum and composite materials.
Aluminum bats are made using one of two materials…either aluminum alloy or pure aluminum. They come with a single wall barrel or a double wall barrel. If you are looking to hit the ball with more speed, the single wall is best for you. If you want a bigger sweet spot, opt for double wall.
Composite bats are made using a variety of different materials. Some bats will be 100 percent composite while others will have a handle or barrel that’s made using a host of other materials including carbon or steel alloy. Some bats are constructed using a combination of composite materials and wood.
Things To Be Aware Of
The great thing about aluminum bats is their durability. However, they are also known to be dent prone. Over time you will notice they are less effective. The good news however is aluminum bats don’t require break in time. Generally speaking they are ready to use right out the box.
Composite bats on the other hand have a reputation for having poor performance. They have also been known to break in cooler weather. In order to reach peak performance composite bats must be broken in. You need at least 150 solid hits before it reaches optimal performance.
Which One Is Better?
When it comes to the game of fastpitch, no two hitters are alike. In that same vein, no two bats are a like. The bat that works best for you will depend on your personal preference. Some bats are designed to be heavy at the top while others are designed to heavy at the handle.
There are also one piece bats, two piece bats, single wall bats and double wall bats. They key is knowing what type of player you are. Are you a contact hitter or a power hitter? Answering this question will help you better determine which type of bat is best for you.
Composite bats tend to be quite expensive. If you are new to fastpitch it is recommend you opt for something less expensive. While aluminum bats can be cost prohibitive as well, you can usually find a good one for $100 or less.
Although we feel that the bats we’ve included above would make the top choices for any player you may still be asking for more specific bats to meet your needs. We’ve tried to do our best to include some of the more common needs on other pages within the site. Below I have listed some of these and will add more as the site keeps growing!
We hope that you have found our page dedicated to the best fastpitch bats has provided some valuable insight into the top choices that can be had for the 2020 season. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.