Why You Should Buy A Pitching Machine
Advantages of Buying A Pitching Machine
The key to good hitting is repetition. Major Leaguers practice their swing over and over again, training their muscles to be able to repeat themselves in perfect form.
But while Major Leaguers are supported by a full-time coaching staff during the season and have access to all sorts of training facilities and personnel in the off-season, the amateur or youth baseball player has no such resources. Yes, they can get some swings in at baseball practice but the amount of repetition needed to ensure optimal performance is probably out of reach unless they have a very patient rubber armed parent or friend who is willing to pitch to them constantly.
Now there are other ways besides get in your swings without live pitching. A tee, for one. But while this can help you with your mechanics and muscle memory it doesn’t really mimic all the skills required to hit a ball out of a pitcher’s hand. That’s where a pitching machine comes in.
You’re probably thinking “Wait, I’m not a millionaire with a monocle and top hat. So I can’t afford a fancy ba-dancy pitching machine.”
Well, first of all, you’d look ridiculous playing baseball in a monocle and top hat. And, second, while it’s true some pitching machines run thousands of dollars there are plenty much cheaper model than that. And considering how many hours of use you could get out a pitching machine that runs a few hundred dollars it’s actually quite a value.
The benefits of a hitting machine are manyfold. It means you can keep a uniform practice schedule set to your own terms. It will improve your concentration and posture at the plate. And it will sharpen your head and eye coordination as well as the essential ability to see the ball to the bat.
There are all different types of pitching machines. Some are completely portable, some are battery powered, and there are even some that rely on springs and don’t require a power source which helps in backyards without power sources. Some of the machines you can get for a few hundred dollars should be able to throw between 60 and 70 MPH and feature fastballs at adjustable heights.
When you start to get into the $1000 and over range you have machines with the ability to hit 100 MPH and fire off just about any pitch the human arm can produce — including knuckleballs. (However practicing too much against a knuckleball is a bad idea.) Then if you are really looking to spend some cash there are some hitting machines out there that have 100 plus ball capacities and all sorts of analytical software to help with your hitting, but they are going to run over $5000. Here are a few well-rated pitching machines at various price points. They should be available online or at your local sporting goods store.
Louisville Slugger UPM45 Original Ultimate Pitching Machine $200
Not only is this machine fully portable, it doesn’t even require a power source! Instead the Louisville Slugger UPM45 Original Ultimate pitching machine is driven by a spring loaded power system that last up to 20,000 pitches. It’s easily adjustable for pitch location and speed and will hurl a baseball up to 45 MPH. Switch to more lightweight soft-type balls and this machine will have them whizzing 60 MPH. The number one youth league pitching machine in America will also work for with softballs. Those who have bought the product laud its ability to pitch accurately over and over again and its easy in setting up. And since it only weighs 20 pounds it won’t take much to move from the baseball diamond to the backyard.
Trend Sports Slider & Power Alley System – Lite-Ball Pitching Machine & Home Batting Cage Combination $360
Perfect for home use, the Trend Sports Slider & Power Alley System uses special Slider lite balls which are ⅔ the weight of a regular baseball for backyard safety. The machine has an automatic 12 ball feeder and can pitch fastballs, curves and sliders at adjustable speeds of up to 60 MPH. It comes with a 22 foot long, ten foot high and 12 foott wide net that will turn any backyard into a proper batting cage without the risk of broken windows and neighbor lawsuits. According to Trend Sports it only takes 30 minutes to set up both the machine and the net.
First Pitch Original Baseball Softball Pitching Machine w/ 24″ & 32″ Legs 220V $875
With a five year warrenty for residential use, the First Pitch Original Pitching machine can easily get your son or daughter through high school ball. That’s right, son or daughter because one of the features of the machine is it works for both baseballs and softball and toggling between the two is simple as snapping on a different loading tube. For baseball, it can throw between 20 and 80 MPH and comes with both a set of 24 inch and 32 inch legs. With its strong motor and quality materials this machine will have plenty of resale value for when that young slugger of yours graduates to the real world.
Jugs Curveball Pitching Machine $2500
Featuring a patented “gooseneck” design, the Jugs Curveball Pitching Machine can not only throw fastballs, curves and sliders, but it can toss either right or left handed. The machine will work with just about any type of baseball or softball shaped ball and can pitch from 20 MPH to an Aldonis Chapman like 104 MPH. Although heavy (150 pounds) the product will fit into the trunk of most cars, so it can be moved without a great deal of difficulty. Thanks to its 360 degree swivel design it is also perfect for practicing fly balls, ground balls, pop ups and line drives. The Jugs Curveball Pitching Machine comes with a 5-year warranty and is recommended for ages 12 and up. It may not be cheap, but this is the kind equipment the pros use.