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.
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.