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Throwing Machine Buying Guide 101

When hitters set their sights on improving their swing, a high-quality pitching machine is used to deliver consistent pitches that help build muscle memory. Muscle memory in baseball/softball will turn average hitters into above average hitters, and using a pitching machine in your baseball or softball practice will help speed up the development process no matter your skill level.

All baseball/softball machines are not created equal. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s the truth. Some can only throw a particular type of ball, while others can throw a combination of ball types and sizes.

The various types of balls are standard size baseballs, 11″ and 12″ softballs, foam balls, and wiffle balls. The speed at which the ball can be thrown also has a lot to do with the type of ball used in your pitching machine.

What kind of pitching machine do you need?

beginner – The first stage in baseball/softball stardom is to start with a beginner pitching machine that slowly pitches the ball at a normal rate to facilitate development. Speed ​​for a beginner is different for everyone, but some pitching machines can throw speeds as low as 10 MPH. These beginner pitching machines are reliable and lightweight for easy storage or transport.

“Little League Baseball” – For everyone intending to get a batting training aid for use in minor leagues, you should remember to check that the softball or baseball machines can throw RIF (Reduced Injury Factor) balls as wiffle or dimpled balls. This ensures that if someone is accidentally hit with a ball, the injury is not as serious. RIF balls have a maximum speed of 60 MPH. Combine that with the texture of a dimpled ball and it provides a layer of protection against serious injury.

High School/College/Semi-Professional/Professional – For high school through professional baseball/softball use, you need a machine that can throw a variety of balls and pitches at all speeds. You want to look for machines with 2 wheels, dual motors, and machines that have a top speed greater than 80-90 MPH. Heavy duty pitching machines for this level of player can consistently throw fastballs, sliders, left, right, curveballs and some can even throw knuckleballs so keep that in mind as well. A 360-degree rotating head is another feature that all pitching machines must have to allow you to throw pop-ups, ground balls and pop-flys in any direction down the field.

Softball vs Baseball – Yes, there are machines designed to exclusively launch softballs, as well as some machines that only launch baseballs. However, you can choose what is called a combination softball/baseball pitching machine that can be changed to pitch softballs, baseballs, and a variety of other types of balls very easily.

Accessories – Lightweight throwing machines can be easily moved and can only hold a few balls.
Heavier stationary machines can hold most balls but lack mobility. You will need to decide which one is right for your needs.

It doesn’t matter if you decide on a lightweight pitching machine or a heavy stationary one, you can buy ball feeders some can hold up to 80 balls along with your pitching machine. Some brands offer ball feeders included with purchase, while other brands sell ball feeders separately.

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