The best baseball pitching machine can really improve your swing. If you or your little player are the types who can never get enough swings in a while you’re training, then you’ll to head across to the cage, eventually.
However, these days, pitching machines are far more accessible than ever before. As technology improves and becomes more readily available, the price goes down.
Now it isn’t uncommon to see individual players with their own pitching machines. And that is a good thing because finding good help is hard these days.
Jack Perconte from Baseball Coaching tips points out, “(I) see many parents pitch to their baseball playing kids who just cannot throw the ball over the plate often.”
And it’s true, finding someone who can consistently throw over the home plate is tough. Even if you find someone who can throw over home, you need a pitcher who can do it at speed, otherwise, you quickly become a batting practice pro and a game-day flop. Instead, you can use a pitching machine. Here are three of my favorites we’ll look at in this article.
As you can see, pitching machines come in a range of different styles and prices. It is important that you choose the pitching machine that’s best for your needs.
Top 5 Best Baseball Pitching Machines
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re looking for a manual pitching machine, then the Blue Flame by Louisville Slugger is the one you want.
The machine throws any ball you can imagine. You can easily throw perfect hard balls, fast pitches, softballs, simple balls, light flights, and even soccer balls.
The machine will throw a hardball from 18 to 45 mph with an easy-to-adjust speed, while you can throw a light ball up to 60mph.
The Blue Flame is the official Pony Baseball and Softball League, so you know the quality is there. Throws any type of ball, hard balls, fast-pitch softballs, dimple balls, light flight, plastic, and even soccer and volleyballs
Throws hard balls from 18 to 45 mph with easy to adjust speed controls. And throws light flight and plastic balls up to 60 mph; Throws slowpitch softballs with up to a 12 inches arch
Throws a level pitch to help teach proper swing mechanics. Extremely accurate for throwing strikes, fly balls and even grounders.
The official pitching machine of both Babe Ruth League and Pony Baseball and Softball, so you know the quality is good.
For juniors and little league, this is great because it is completely battery and electricity-free. The Blue Flame is also portable, so you can quickly take it from drill to drill.
The Jugs Lite-Flite machine is a lightweight pitching machine that is purpose-built for improving the swings of younger hitters.
The machine can throw 11-inch or 12-inch Lite-Flite softballs, Lite-Flite baseballs, and poly balls.
While it is for younger batters, you can still simulate speeds up to 85 mph at 25 feet. Which means you’ll get a few years of use out of the machine.
As opposed to the manual machine, the Lite-Flite throws fastballs, left- and right-handed curveballs and sliders.
They make the machine of heavy-duty metal so it is durable. A lot of other baseball pitching machines fall apart too easily (that’s why they’re not on the list).
There is also a great softball option, so the whole family can use the machine.
The lite-flite is a great option of a pitching machine if you want variable pitches and are okay with throwing lite balls.
Sure, the other machines we mentioned are great.
But if you want to take the next step, you need the best pitching machine on the market.
*Enter stage left, Jugs BP3 Baseball Pitching Machine*
The BP3 even throws a changeup which is the coolest thing ever. You can change from fastball to changeup at the touch of a button using the remote control on a key chain or manual button on the control panel.
In fact, you can throw many pitches. The BP3 throws Fastballs and Changeups, Right- and Left-handed Curveballs and Sliders, Right- and Left-handed Cutters, Split-finger Fastballs and all anywhere between 40 mph and 90 mph.
There are even preset hitting circuits that allow the machine to automatically change between fastball and changeup giving your hitters a “real” pitcher vs. hitter experience.
Also, these machines are durable, with the three tires lasting around 20 years!
The BP3 is the granddaddy of pitching machines.
How to use a pitching machine
Now, this video goes through the basics and should be enough to get you started. We suggest the BP3 when searching for a machine, but read on, in case another fits your needs more.
What is the best baseball pitching machine for me?
It is hard to give a concrete answer to one particular model as the best pitching machine.
Instead, I will give you some information on a few of the most popular options in common categories and you can make your own informed decision on which one you should buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best baseball pitching machine?
There’s a bunch of great machines, but we like the Jugs BP3 Baseball Pitching Machine.
Do MLB Players use pitching machines?
Because pitchers need to stay fresh, many MLB players use pitching machines. A lot of baseball players, coaches and parents don’t like using a pitching machine to practice. And they’re right, it’s no substitute for the real thing. However, pitching machines are great for hand-eye coordination, timing and bat control.
How fast is a pitching machine?
For Little League, you can find pitching machines that throw about 25 – 55 MPH, but for the older players, you can find machines that throw over 100 MPH.
Can a pitching machine throw a curveball?
Yes, some pitching machines are custom made for curveballs. There are also some heavy-duty Curveball Pitching Machines that can throw a 105 MPH. It throws baseballs (dimple balls and real balls), and 11″ or 12″ softballs. These machines can do it all and throw curveballs sliders, knuckleballs, fastballs, tailing fastballs and even sidearm curves.
Are batting cages good practice?
A batting cage is better than nothing. While there’s no substitute for hitting a real pitcher, that isn’t always an option when you consider that pitchers want to limit their throws during the week. You may also want to practice alone, so a machine or a batting cage is perfect.
So, no matter if you’re looking for a manual machine for training, a lite-ball machine or a real pitcher experience. Understanding what is the best baseball pitching machine for you, will make the buying decision easier.
If you need more help on how to choose the right bat while you practice, here is a guide which can help.
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