Sports is all about practicing and training and Baseball or Softball is no different, that is why it would be a good idea to invest in a pitching machine and we are here to help you find the best pitching machine for you to get your eye on the ball and your swing up to speed.
There are many machines to choose from which could offer different elements for you to train with. The best one may not always be the most expensive but the one that could make your training go further because at the end of the day it is not a machine that makes a player great but the time and effort behind the player, the machine is only meant to help.
Pitching machines could be used for team training with a couch, family fun or individual use and this all depends on what you are looking for. A good machine should be easy to use and could last a longer time if it is well looked after by making sure it is can, maintained and that all the gears etc. are functioning properly.
This machine is like the rest of baseball or softball equipment such as bat, gloves cleats since it could help the player bring out the best game in them but it could last a long time.
Best Pitching Machine Reviews of 2019
1. Louisville Slugger (Our Top Recommended)
To find the best pitching machine for your sporting needs could require some research but are have made a list to help point you in a certain direction so that you could have a starting point. The first pitching machine you could look at is the Louisville Slugger which is completely manual which could make it easy to move around as well as to set up.
This machine could be great for training because it could throw at a level pitch for players to practice the correct swing technique and it could also throw different types of pitches such fly balls, grounders and etc.
plus you could adjust the speed of the ball. It could also throw different types of balls such as dimple balls, hardball and even fastpitch balls for softball; however, it may take some time to set up pitching level correctly.
2. Sports Games Baseball Pitching Machine
The next item that you could look at is the Sports Games Baseball Pitching Machine which seems to be designed with young children in mind since it comes with 12 plastic white balls as well as a light plastic red bat so that kids are able to practice hitting balls, plus the price is not that high in case the kids change their mind.
This machine is able to not only be used for batting practice but also for catching practices since you could be able to adjust the height of the balls as they leave the machine, plus it should be throwing balls at a continuous rate (with about seven seconds in between each ball) for the kids to get their eyes in as well as to get fitter.
A potential downside is that it runs on four D batteries which may not last for too long.
3. Jugs Toss Machine
Jugs Toss Machine seems to be a great machine to practice for matches and this could be because you could fit 14 baseballs or 10 softballs with an interval of about five seconds between which throw and it could also have a battery life of up to eight hours.
It seems to be quite small so it should be easy and light to carry (internal battery included) and could be set up in a 10 by 10 foot (three by three meters) space since it many focus is hand-eye coordination so it should be able to be used anywhere and it could be used to practice catching.
The softball size that it seems to take is 11 inches (28 cm) since bigger balls seem to get stuck which could take away from the automatic quality of the machine.
4. Heater Sports PowerAlley
Heater Sports PowerAlley is the next item and it seems to be a corded pitching machine which could be able to pitch lite-balls up to 40 mph while soft lite-balls could go up to 60 mph as well as give the players fastballs, grounders, as well as some pop-fly balls for good measure.
This machine comes with a tripod which has rubber tips which could allow it to be more stable during training, and you could also change the pitch height of the machine. This machine could come with an enclosed wheel to throw the balls but the type of balls that you could use seems to be limited.
5. Heater Sports Deuce 95
Heater Sports Deuce 95 looks to be a good choice for teams since it could throw different types of pitches such as fastballs, grounders, pop flies, curveballs and it could fit 12 baseballs on an auto feeder which could have eight seconds between which throw, plus this could be removed for a more human touch.
The Deuce 95 could come with two wheels that are enclosed to offer more protection and this could increase the durability of the machine; which could also give the ball’s speeds between 15 to 95 mph and the head of the pitching machine could be a pivot to change the locations of the pitches.
It is corded and seems to be more on the pricey side and it is also the size of a man so it would not be that easy to move around so it could be great for teams but maybe not so much for individuals.
There can be certain aspects of pitching machines that you could consider before putting your money down such as: does it need to be mobile? Or can it just stay in one place? Is it for Softball or Baseball, or both? What type is it? How fast can it go? And, of course, what many would concern the most important questions: how much is it and how long could it last for?
Another thing that you should keep in mind is a warranty in case something happens to the machine as well as how complicated would it be if a part of the machine breaks down and should be replaced while the rest of the machine is still running well and smoothly. High-end machine could come with a five-year warranty while the cheaper ones could not so it would be a good idea to check what else you get with the machine.
A good pitching machine should be able to help you to get your eye on the ball and to practice hitting a moving target. Plus, some machines could also give the players different types of speed and pitches so that the players could get more familiar with what could come in a match setting. Durability can also be a factor to look at since the standard for one player to use could be different to that of a couch since the machine could be used more often which could result in some wear and tear.
Pitching machines could usually come in two types which are known as armed or wheeled. The type of machine is determined by the way the ball is released by the machine and each one has it upsides and its downsides. An armed machine is what you could see at battling cages or even theme parks which are bigger and more durable than wheeled ones but this makes them harder to move, and they could cost more money.
While wheeled pitching machines seem to be more common in stores since they are mobile, more affordable as well as storable. And these types of machines could be able to reach high velocities as well as some of them could even be adjusted for different types of pitches and from different angles so that a range of locations could be covered while the player is training.
Some pitching machines could also use certain types of balls and the main types seem to be the dimpled rubber balls, whiffle balls which a lot of basic pitching machines seem to use and the standard leather balls. It can be a good idea to have good quality balls since the pitching machine could destroy the balls over time by possible tearing the stitches of the balls. You could also research so that you know which machines use what type of balls (so you could see which could be used to practice for the match and which ones could be used only for training), plus what the maximum amount balls that the machine can hold.
Another aspect to look at when thinking about buying a pitching machine is: what else it could offer you. Yes, hitting the ball is an important part of baseball and softball but so is catching the ball so maybe finding a machine that could do both could be more worth your money. Some machines could require another person to operate it because they could require someone to feed in the ball manually or the machine itself does not run on any type of power, while others are auto-feeders which could mean that you load up the machine and hit the balls by yourself till you run out.
Some pitching machines could require an outlet to get power from and these are called corded pitching machines while others could require a battery to power the machine and these are, of course, known as cordless. The upside of having a corded one is that you will not run out of power providing there is an outlet nearby the machine or that there are long extension cables to connect the two. The downside could be that if there is no nearby power outlet you may need to get a generator which could with a separate price tag. Cordless machines, on the other hand, could be easier to move around but the training time relies on the battery life of the machine and there is also charging time which should be considered as well.
Pitching machines can also offer a certain amount of throwing speed depending on the model where there are some machines that are designed with young children in mind which could give off a ball speed of 10-15 mph so that young players have time to react.
The older the player gets the higher the speed of the pitch they could handle with some machines even going up to 100 mph for experienced players. The speed of the ball should be able to give the player the experience of playing in a match and how quickly they would need to react to the speed since which types of the pitch could require a different reaction since pitchers could throw in a ‘slow ball’ to confuse the batter.
The Louisville Slugger seems to be one of the best choices on this list because it is easy to move, quick to set up, throws at a level pitch for players to practice the correct swing technique as well as be able to throw different types of pitches with different speeds and it could use different types of balls.
This could be good for teams where the coach could get to be more involved with the players or for families that would just like to have fun and interact with each other as well as to practice different types of sports since this machine could also throw volleyballs and soccer balls.
This in itself would make a good feature since children (such when I was young) played more than one type of sports so to have a machine that could be used all year round for multiple things seems to be a big plus.