Pitching Machine for Baseball

8 Best Baseball Pitching Machines + Buying Guide

This post was most recently updated on October 4th, 2019

The best baseball pitching machine will let you master your batting and catching skills. It also comes handy for coaches and parents. Still, you have to find the best model to suit your game level. Here, I reviewed 8 of the best picks so you can find the best value for money.

Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Pitching Machine

My top pick for a pitching machine is the Louisville Slugger Blue Flame. It can throw hard balls at a maximum speed of 60 mph for light balls. For beginners, it can slow pitch balls with a 12-inch arch.

The Blue Flame can pitch just about any ball. This is why it’s a wise purchase for baseball, softball, and other sports.

Actually, this is the official pitching machine of the Pony Baseball and Softball League as well as Babe Ruth League.

This pitching machine weighs less than 25 pounds, which makes it easy to transport. Take note that this is a mechanical pitching machine and there’s no need for electricity or batteries. However, the ball will be loaded manually since it can’t accept a stack.

Pros

-Flexible pitching speeds
-No need for batteries
-Accurate hard ground balls and fly balls
-Lightweight but powerful

Cons

-Takes time to set up

JUGS Lite-Flite Machine for Baseball

If you have the money to splurge, the JUG Lite-Flite Machine is a good choice. It can throw 11 and 12-inch Lite-Flite softballs. It can also pitch JUGS Bulldog polyballs and baseballs.

This best baseball pitching machine can throw balls at a maximum speed of 85 mph in a 25-feet distance. It’s ideal for 8 year-old players and older.

It has a 1/8 horsepower motor and weighs 35 pounds. Take note that this can’t launch just about any ball. It’s exclusive to JUGS balls only.

This is compatible with an automatic feeder which is sold separately. Take note that for this to work, you need an 110V electrical source. You can purchase a battery pack should you need to use the machine in an area with no power source.

Pros

-Compatible with a battery pack
-Can be used with an automatic feeder
-2-year warranty
-Nylon carrying case included

Cons

-Inconvenient fuse location

HEATER SPORTS Baseball Pitching Machine

If you’re an adult player looking for a trusty pitching machine, I highly recommend this model from HEATER SPORTS. It has 10 variable speeds with a pitch regulation leather. It can throw baseballs and even dimpled machine balls.

It also comes with a 12-ball automatic feeder and an adjustable height for ground and flies practice. Take note that it needs a 110V power source or at least a 350-440-watt generator to work.

My only gripe here is that it doesn’t throw curveballs or sliders.I t doesn’t have enough spin necessary to make such pitches.

Anyway, when it comes to reaction time, it feels like you’re dealing with a real baseball pitcher. You can adjust the throwing speed from 15 to 50 mph.

Pros

-Comes with an auto feeder
-10 speed variables
-Accurate reaction time
-Great for all playing levels

Cons

-Can’t throw curveballs or sliders

Sports Attack Junior Hack Baseball Pitching Machine

If you want to experience the best of pitching practice, you might as well invest in the Sports Attack Junior Hack Baseball Pitching Machine. It has a maximum speed of 70 mph that can throw curveballs, sliders, split fingers, and knuckles. This can also simulate left and right-handed throws.

You can throw head pivots in an instant and fly balls up to 250 feet. It can be adjusted to any direction to pitch line drives, ground balls, and pop-ups.

Although powerful, this has a convenient build. You can unsocket the legs, tilt the body, and roll it using the two wheels. This can fit even on compact cars.

What I love the most here is the 5-year warranty. Even if it’s a few fold more expensive than other pitching machines, it’s totally worth the investment.

Pros

-Can throw almost any type of pitch
-High speed throws
-Easy to transport and store
-Can throw leather balls

Cons

-There’s no way to tell the exact speed

First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine

For a pitch of up to 70 mph, the First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine is the ideal choice. It has baseline features and a swivel base as well as reversible legs.

Although this best baseball pitching machine is more expensive than other models, it can withstand the test of time. It’s ideal for a traveling team and can pitch excellent fly balls.

Its ¼ horsepower motor is powerful and although it’s a bit heavy at 50 pounds, it nails the job. You don’t need any special tire just to make it work.

The kids love it and can’t get enough of it. The only thing I’ve noticed is it keeps moving during strong hits. Clamping it down with a few weights on the foot should fix the problem.

Pros

-Up to 7 mph
-Features a swivel base
-1/4 horsepower
-Ideal for softball and baseball

Cons

-Moves a bit every pitch

Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Pitching Machine

If you want a cheap practice pitching machine for your kid, the Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Machine is worth the money. It pitches the ball every 7 seconds in three adjustable angles.

What I love the most here is that there’s a light indicator whenever the ball is going to be pitched. I’m not sure how fast this goes but I don’t think it can go faster than 10 mph.

You can also adjust the height to suit your kiddo. It also comes with 6 plastic balls for practice. For under $50, this doubles as a toy and a pitching machine. This is great for Aero Strike practice that releases the ball every 10 seconds.

Pros

-Light indicator
-Comes with 6 practice balls
-3 adjustable angles
-Great machine for the money

Cons

-Not really a pro pitching machine

SKLZ Catapult Soft Toss Baseball Fielding Trainer

The SKLZ Catapult Soft Toss Baseball Pitching Machine is a perfect toy and practice equipment for young baseball players. It can hold up to 11 balls at a time and can help improve hitting accuracy and visual acuity.

Aside from the balls in the package, you can also use 9-inch plastic balls for pop-fly practicing. It will pitch the ball every 8 seconds. You can adjust the height and distance of the pitching machine to suit your practice.

Take note that this runs on 4 D batteries which are not included in the package. Overall, it’s a fun equipment for kids.

Pros

-Adjustable height and distance
-Comes with 11 plastic balls
-Short waiting time

Cons

-It’s not the most durable pitching machine for kids

HEATER SPORTS Baseball Pitching Machine with Automatic Feeder

The last pitching machine I recommend is the HEATER SPORTS model. It comes with an automatic feeder that can hold up to 12 balls.

This has 10 variable speeds that you can control based on the level of your game. It also has an adjustable height that allows you to practice grounders and flies.

It’s a durable pitching machine but you need a power source to make it work. For the best speed, place the machine at least 40 feet from the batter.

Pros

-10 variable speeds
-Comes with an automatic feeder
-Adjustable height

Cons

-Uses a pneumatic tire

Baseball Pitching Machine Buying Guide

Here are some of the things you need to know before purchasing a pitching machine:

Dual wheel vs. one wheel

A one wheel pitching machine is the less expensive of the two. It can pitch the ball in speed between 25 and 75 miles per hour.

It can also throw curve balls that can simulate both right and left-handed throws. One wheel pitching machines are also lighter and weigh around 30 to 65 pounds.

However, one wheel machines are only good for casual practice.

Meanwhile, dual wheel pitching machines can throw a ball at a speed of 25 to 90 miles per hour. It’s faster, but it weighs more at around 60 to 150 pounds.

Most dual wheel machines have a swiveling head that allows the user to pitch the ball in different angles. Players who want to boost their catching and batting skills will need this type of pitching machine.

Armed vs. wheeled type

The type of pitching machine differs on the way it enters and throws the ball. There are two types: an armed and a wheeled type.

Armed style pitching machines are typically used indoors. It’s durable, but it’s bigger and can be a pain to move.

Meanwhile, some would opt for a wheeled pitching machine. It’s easier to transport, can reach high velocities, and can be set in different angles.

Tire type

There are two types of tires used on pitching machines: pneumatic and solid pitching tires.

Pneumatic tires are like car tires. It’s inflated using air and can be found on most JUGS pitching machine models. This type of tire tends to wear out easily and may need more leeway to recover in between pitches. You’d need to wait at least 10 seconds before another ball is pitched.

If you’re pitching in high speed, you may need to adjust the wheel distance since the tires tend to flatten out.

Pneumatic pitching tires are high maintenance too. You have to make sure that you’re using the right air pressure.

Next, the solid pitching tires are similar to the wheels of a lawnmower. It’s made of solid material and used on many modern pitching machine models.

Compared to pneumatic tires, solid types last longer and can recover faster in between pitches. The waiting time would only be between 5 to 6 seconds. Also, there’s no need to check for tire pressure.

Playing level

When purchasing a pitching machine, it’s important to consider the level of the player who’s going to use it.

-Beginner

For beginners, a tossing machine that pitches the ball gently is ideal. Usually, it throws the ball at a fixed speed of 10 mph and in regular intervals.

Tossing machines are lightweight, more affordable, and compact than professional pitching machines. This is the ideal choice for kids who need to practice their batting skills.

-Youth League

For Little Leaguers, a single-motor machine will be ideal. Look for one that accepts RI balls and can pitch at a maximum speed of 60 mph. Some single-motor pitching machines have transport wheels and a removable cart.

-High school/college pro

For older leagues, you’d need a pitching machine with high throwing speeds. You have the option to use a dual or single wheel model. These advanced machines can throw in different angles and pitch fastballs, curveballs, and sliders.

A pitching machine for high school and college set in vertical pivot can throw fly balls, pop-ups, and ground balls.

Power

The motor power of pitching machines is measured in horsepower. It will determine the maximum pitch speed. The more horsepower in the motor, the faster the maximum pitch speed will be.

Also, you should consider a heavier machine. Although it’s a challenge to transport, the extra weight will keep the machine in place during strong pitches.

Speed

Pitching machines will have varying speed ranging from 10 mph up to 60 mph or more. Make sure that the speed matches your game level.

Adjustability

For serious players, a pitching machine that can be adjusted in various angles is a good choice. Also, look for one that can be tweaked in different pitching modes.

Mobility

A lightweight pitching machine is ideal for beginners. It’s easy to transport and it can be positioned in any spot. However, lightweight machines aren’t fit for high-speed pitching.

Heavy machines aren’t always a bane. With the added weight on, you can set it to maximum pitching without the risk of tipping.

Conclusion

The best baseball pitching machine should help you master your batting skills. Just make sure that it is durable enough to endure continuous use. The 8 picks I reviewed above are great and you can find one for your game level.

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