Updated: November 13th, 2018
8 Min. Read
Want to know a big secret to perfecting your hitting technique? It is repetition through practice. It is known that over 10,000 hours minimum are spent perfecting a craft. Players in the Major League have consistently practiced their swing their entire lives, thus helping in achieving their perfect form.
However, these players have access to indispensable resources such as full-time coaches, staff personnel and training facilities even during the off-season. Amateur baseball players are less fortunate (if you are, lucky you!).
While we also recommend that baseball tees are a way to practice one's swinging, it doesn’t mimic the throw of a pitcher in a live game. Not all is lost, we have just the solution for you: Pitching machines!
READ OUR IN-DEPTH REVIEWS ON THE BEST YOUTH BASEBALL BATS >>>
What is a pitching machine? It’s a machine that feeds a ball through a series of wheels that when sent out through the other end, imitates a live pitch in a ball game.
There are plenty of benefits of a pitching/hitting machine. One of them is being able to set a practice schedule that suits the hitter; whether it be after-school or extra practice AFTER practice. It helps to improve focus, posture at the plate and trains the muscles to repeat the action with precision while improving head, hand and eye coordination.
Although some pitching machines cost upwards of thousand dollars, we’re here to offer numerous cheaper options that are available. Practice makes perfect and given the number of hours that you are able to practice using a pitching machine, the asking price is relatively low. Listed below are some great, affordable options for pitching machines. If you like our pitching machine reviews, we know you’ll love our youth bat reviews! Thanks for reading!
Our Best-Pick for Overall Pitching Machine:
“Always See The Ball” Delivery System
A Quick-Change Design for Adjusting the Machine from Baseball to Softball
Portable Design weighing only 35 pounds
A 1/8HP, 1.3 Amp motor backed by a 2-year warranty
Useable indoors and outdoors
This highly recommended machine can pitch both Lite-Flite baseballs and softballs with full movement, including sliders, curves, and fastballs. Changing the machine from baseballs to softballs is quick and easy. The base casting has a swivel-design which allows for 360-degree versatility for pop-ups, ground balls, and fly balls; an important addition for fielders who wish to work on defense in their yard. The machine is only compatible with 11 inch Lite-Flite softballs, 12 inch Lite-Flite softballs, or JUGS Bulldog baseballs and softballs other balls might cause damage to the machine.
It is a great choice for up-coming hitters who want to improve their swings. The balls it is designed to throw ensure that young hitters pick up how to hit sharp pitches without fear of being hit. The machine can imitate both left or right-handed pitches.
Able To Shoot Up To 380 Feet Deep Fly Balls
Shoots Fastballs up to 100+ MPH
Weighs only 160 pounds with legs
5 year warranty
The Hack Attack from Sports Attack has a distinct 3-wheel design. It completely mirrors a live pitch by allowing hitter’s to see the ball clearly from the moment it’s being fed to the moment it’s coming towards them. It’s been built by baseball professionals, who want provide realistic pitches just as if you were in a live game.
The breaking pitch plane can be adjusted by merely changing the speed of three wheels changes. An easy turning of dials can seamlessly pitch balls at 100+ MPH, both right and left-hand breaking-pitches include splits, sliders, and curveballs. The newest models have a sleeker design along with an inside or outside adjustment, providing an immediate change of location.
It’s easily portable; rolls on 2 wheels and fits right in the back of a SUV, minivan or truck. It’s compatible with regulation leather baseballs, dimple, and soft practice balls. The Hack Attack comes pre-assembled and set up for instantaneous use. Might we mention that it’s built to last, backed by their 5 year warranty.
Best Pitching Machine On A Budget:
Portability - Weighs Less Than 25 Pounds
Does Not Require Power - Entirely Manual
Throws Fastballs up to 45mph and Lightweight Balls up to 60mph!
Throws Hard Ground Balls Accurately
Louisville Slugger’s infamous UPM 45 aka “Blue Flame mechanical pitching machine” assists coaches and hitters in having endless practice time. Much like Louisville Slugger youth bats, their name goes beyond just bats. The UPM45 is durable, portable, doesn’t need electricity, making it good for practices at home in the backyard or at a park. With its easy set up it covers a wide-span of different types of situations in a live-game. With its quick and easy adjusting, fly balls and ground balls can be set up within seconds. During our tests we found that it was known as the “break-station” because it gave our staff’s arms a break from our other stations.
The UPM45 pitches with consistency, speed, and accuracy of a live pitch. Our staff uses it for warm-ups when no power is available. Hitters are able to warm-up quickly and then move onto their other drills.
We like that it pitches a variety of balls, and that we don’t have to be afraid of what type of ball we should use. It can pitch baseballs and softballs alike, between 18 to 45 mph. Light-weight balls are pitched much faster at a rate of up to 60 mph. Although it may not be a full-fledged pitching machine due to its limited nature (speed of pitches, etc), it surely helps in sharpening and building muscle memory.
30 - 100 MPH Pitches
Throws Left and Right Handed Pitches: Fastballs, Breaking, Knuckle, and Sliders
Both Softball and Baseball Conversion Kits Included
6 Year Warranty
The Mound Yeti is among the one of the most adaptable pitching machines in the market. The speed of pitching ranges between 30 – 100+ mph; catering to every skill level. Quick tuning converts its throw from left hand to right hand breaking ball, knuckleballs, sliders, and fastballs. Settings for the speed range from low, medium, high, or all the way up to Major League level. Not looking for a baseball pitch? Mound Yeti provides you with a softball conversion kit, something generally sold separately.
The swivel head of the machine can be angled upwards for pop ups or angled down for ground balls. Mound Yeti really took their time on this one, reducing air pressure by using urethane on the wheels. Dimpled balls are recommended however we tested using a variety of balls with no issues.
Best Bang For Your Buck Pitching Machine:
Up to 50 MPH Pitch Speed
Automatic Feeder Holds 12 Balls
Releases Every 15 Seconds
1/4 HP Motor
Practice on your own without assistance from anyone else!
This automatic baseball machine from Heater Sports is a heavy-duty machine that uses regulation leather baseballs or 9 inched dimple balls. This is our recommended youth baseball pitching machine. With a 12 ball feeder, it eliminates the need for assistance from another person. The balls are released every 15 seconds, giving a hitter just enough time to get ready for the next pitch. It features a durable steel framework that allows for adjustment of the height of the pitch. The machine pitches balls with accuracy at a realistic speed. The dial for seed allows for a 10 digit adjustment between 15-50 MPH, based upon the standard Little League depth of 45' from the batter. If you move the portable machine closer to the hitter the effective speed can be amplified by 1.5 MPH faster for each foot that the machine is moved closer to the hitter. Moreover, you get a free automatic feeder with the purchase of the Heater Sports Baseball Pitching Machine.
A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide - Finding the Best Pitching Machine
Find The Right Pitching Speeds
Pitching machines have all different types of speeds and levels of difficulty. They can hurl balls anywhere from 15 to 100+ miles per hour. This covers all different skill-levels from amateur to the major leagues.
Portability: How Portable Is It?
As you may have seen, these machines come in all different sizes and weights. The majority of all “baseball launchers” are portable, however some are much easier than others. Make sure you’re comfortable with lugging around a minimum of 25 pounds up any where north of 150 pounds. Also take into account which vehicle you will be transporting your product in, SUVs, Minivans and Wagons should have no problem, although sedans may be a tight fit.
Pitch And Product Versatility: What Can Your Machine Do For You?
The hard-truth is, it costs more to have more. Cheaper end products do much less than more expensive ones. So ask yourself, do you need a machine that is automatically fed? Do you want to imitate both a left handed and right handed pitcher? Fast balls, sliders, curveballs alike? Are you purchasing for a whole team practice or just for the betterment of your son/daughter and a few of his teammates? We try our best to answer these questions with our pitching machine reviews listed above.
With these products, we know it takes time to decide. We wanted to cut all the hard decision making and make it much easier on our readers. These products are built to last and always backed with some kind of warranty, that’s why we picked them. In the long run, they save countless practice hours and work more efficiently towards building the best baseball players.