Updated: December 2017

Pitching Machine Reviews:

When kids are first learning how to hit a baseball they usually do it off of a tee (sometimes called T Ball or tee ball) so they can get the feeling of bat on baseball. As they progress through the youth leagues you start seeing pitching machines implemented for batting practice and some leagues do without pitchers entirely, solely relying on a pitching machine to throw all the pitches. The reasons for using baseball pitching machines is because they are consistent, accurate, and their arm doesn't get sore. Youth baseball and softball players get excellent hitting practice since the machines can throw different types of pitches and at various speeds. They are a great replication of a real life pitcher. When kids first learn how to pitch, they can be wild and often hit the batter by mistake, so having a pitching machine in place of the pitcher eliminates that worry. As a parent, I appreciate the fact that most leagues watch out for the younger players in this way.
pitching machines

Choosing a Pitching Machine - As an assistant coach for my sons youth baseball team, my job was to research some pitching machine companies since our league was in a position to purchase a few more for the upcoming season. When the kids are young you only need a basic model that will throw either baseballs or softballs at 30 to 50 MPH. Pitching machines with automatic feeders are the best since it eliminates having to load it manually. Make sure that the pitching machine is portable - should be easy to maneuver it around, put together, disassemble, etc. Pitching machines for baseball range in price from about $100 up to $2000. What do you need? Probably somewhere in between. For those that want a backyard pitching machine for home use, consider the Louisville Slugger, Jugs, or Trend Sports models. Most handle regulation size baseballs just fine and you can adjust the speed of the pitch as well. The Jugs pitching machines are rated very high as they throw fastballs, curveballs, and can reach speed of 75 MPH or higher if needed. Look for pitching machines that also throw fly and ground balls as that is very useful as well. For girls, there are machines designed specifically for softballs, but a few will handle both regulation baseballs and softballs. Pitching machine reviews - You can find in depth reviews on Baseball-equipment-review.com, Officialpitchingmachine.com, and Mysoftballcoach.com. Get details on the latest products from Jugs, Atec, Granada, BATA, and Zooka. Our favorite source are the owner reviews posted on Amazon.com - read pros and cons for almost all models they carry. You can browse the best selling pitching machines online here.

Best Pitching Machine:

RECOMMENDED - Without a doubt, Jugs is the best selling name in pitching machines for youth and high school players. The Jugs Lite-Flite Pitching Machine - is top rated and well worth considering. At 35 pounds it's sturdy enough but also lightweight so you can move it around without too much hassle. The machine will throw curveballs, fastballs, and even sliders. The ability for the pitching machine to throw left handed pitches as well as right handed allows hitters to get used to all types of ball trajectories. The 1/8 HP 1.3 amp motor gives you a speed range of 30 to 50 miles per hour and it's easy to adjust the speed with the dial control. The Jugs machine plugs into a 110-volt AC or uses a rechargeable battery pack (sold separately). The one drawback is that it doesn't have an automatic feeder, so you will have to manually load the balls. Batting practice is essential to honing your hitting skills, so check out all the Jugs pitching machines here. As the skill level improves and the requirements for speed and pitch variety increase, then switch to a higher powered pitching machine.

Pitching Machine for Softball:

RECOMMENDED - Louisville Slugger is a name that is well recognized in baseball and their Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine is a solid pitching machine for those wanting to pitch softballs for practice. It throws regulation baseballs and softballs at 18 to 45 MPH. The UPM45 requires no power or batteries like other machines. Therefore, it is very portable and perfect for setting up in your yard or at the baseball field to give your son or daughter some batting practice. You can also set it up for infield or outfield drills. Parents have nothing but praise for this kids pitching machine. Atec offers a Baseball Softball Pitching Machine that is slightly more expensive than the Louisville Slugger model mentioned above, the Atec is better. Manually fed, the Atec offers up a variety of pitches, adjusts easily, and is consistent. The one thing to remember is that softball pitchers throw underhand which is a different perspective and trajectory than hardball throwers. Jugs makes the most authentic machines for softball batting practice, the single wheel design, but they are quite expensive and meant more for high school or collegiate level athletics.