Best Baseball Pitching Machines 2018: A Practical Guide (With Reviews)

Everyone knows why pitching machines are important.

But, the main question is,

What is the best baseball pitching machine for youth?

Before buying, it’s important to check:

  • The pitching speed of a machine
  • Auto ball feeding functionality
  • Wheeled or compressed air machine
  • Runs on electricity or manual
  • And a few more things

In this article, I tried to include each and everything that you want to know before buying, so you don’t have to go to the web and search anything else.

This is a big article, so grab a cup of coffee.

If you don’t have enough time, then reading the next section will give you enough information to choose the best machine.

My Personal Recommendation

My Favorite Pitching Machine for Baseball

If you need a pitching machine for 12 years old or younger players, then Louisville Slugger UPM45 Pitching Machine is the perfect choice for them.

Why?

Because it throws balls at 18 to 45 mph which is perfect for the young baseball players.

It is completely manual so there is no need of electricity or batteries that allows you to place it at any place. There is no need of thinking, whether you have a power source or not in the ground. Just take this lightweight machine and place it where you want.

It can throw any type of balls with an accurate direction in multiple manners like grounders, strikes, flyers etc.

Check this short video to see how Louisville Slugger UPM45 works.

But, the only thing that some players don’t like is the absence of auto ball feeder. So, you can’t do the solo practice. You need a second person who will handle the machine.

With all these features, this machine comes at an amazingly affordable price. I highly recommend that before making your choice, at least take a look at the customer reviews of Louisville Slugger UPM45, and see yourself how happy they are.

See Price & Reviews of Louisville slugger UPM45

The Alternative

If the solo practice is important for you, then HEATER SPORTS Baseball Pitching Machine is perfect for you.

It is similar to Louisville Slugger UPM45 Pitching Machine.

So, why I’m calling it as an alternative?

It’s an alternative because it runs on power, and it has auto ball feeding functionality.

Solo practicing is possible with this machine at an affordable price.

Check Price & Reviews of HEATER SPORTS Pitching Machine

For Big Boys & Girls

For big boys & girls who love baseball, HEATER SPORTS Deuce Pitching Machine is perfect for them.

Why?

Because it can throw up to 75 mph, while lite-balls up to 85 mph.

This lightweight & portable machine comes with wheel coverings that provide safety from the fast-moving wheel.

Auto ball feeder is also a good feature it offers that automatically pitches after every 8 seconds.

Another good thing is that the company offers One-Year Warranty and 30 Days Money Back Guarantee, so you can buy without any hesitation.

So, for adults, HEATER SPORTS Deuce Pitching Machine is my number one recommendation.

See Details of HEATER SPORTS Deuce Machine

Different Types of Pitching Machines

Based on how the pitching machines work, generally, we divided them into three categories. These are

  1. Armed Pitching Machine
  2. Wheeled Pitching Machine
  3. Compressed Air Pitching Machine

Armed Pitching Machine

Mostly when players practice in the batting cages, they use the armed pitching machine.

Players used armed pitching machines because they are automatic, and therefore, many professional players also use them.

Another advantage of using the armed baseball pitching machine is that it gives the feel like they’re playing with a natural pitcher.

But, if you are a young player, then armed pitching machine may not be good for you because they are not as portable as small wheeled or compressed air machines and they are also costly as compared to other baseball machines.

The main purpose of armed machines is to provide fast pitches because professional pitchers throw at a really high speed.

Wheeled Pitching Machine

Wheeled Baseball Machine

The wheeled pitching machines are very popular in the young high school baseball players because they are perfect for them.

They are smaller in size, and they’re very portable. You can easily transport them from one place to another. You can easily open them or assemble them in just a few minutes.

You can use them as your backyard baseball pitching machine, and if you want to practice somewhere else, then you can easily take it to that area without any problem.

Along with that, they are also quite affordable. You can easily purchase a good machine without spending thousands of dollars on it.

But, the inexpensive machines aren’t able to pitch a ball at a very high speed. So, for the middle school young players or for high school players, you can buy a good wheeled pitching machine under 300 or 400$.

While, for college-level baseball or professional baseball, you may need a machine that throws a ball for at least 90 mph, in that case, you may have to spend some extra money for that.

If you want to check, HEATER SPORTS Deuce is the best wheeled pitching machine you can buy for the adult players.

Compressed Air Pitching Machine

Best Compressed Air Pitching Machine

The compressed air baseball pitching machines are also popular among the young high school players.

As the name suggests, the compressed air is used to throw the ball at a fast speed.

They’re portable, and they don’t need the power to run. Along with that, they are affordable, so this is also a good choice. As the price goes higher in this category, the quality & features also start to add up.

But, in compressed pitching machines, you may need another person for operating it. In that case, you can’t do the practice alone. You’ll always need another person who will handle the machine from that end.

If you want manual or compressed air machine, then Louisville Slugger UPM45 is the best option for you.

How Power Source Matters in a Baseball Pitching Machine?

Why power source matters?

This is a very important feature that you can’t ignore when purchasing a baseball pitching machine.

If you are playing outside your backyard, then it can be difficult to find a power source every time & everywhere.

There are some pitching machines for which power source is not required. The compressed air machines are very popular and people buy them because of this special feature.

You can also choose some battery operated wheeled pitching machines. But, the number of pitches they can throw depends on the model of a machine that you purchase and at what speed you are using this it.

So, if you do not want any resistance because of the availability of power source, then compressed air machines & battery operated machines should be your number one choice.

How Much Does the Best Pitching Machine Cost?

Price of Good Pitching Machine

The baseball pitching machines can range from 40$ to 5000$, or even above that mark.

If you ask, how much does it cost for the high quality baseball pitching machine, then the answer can be a little more than one word because the term “best pitching machine” is different for one player to another.

A pitching machine under 250$ may be good for little league players, but if a college level or professional player plays with that machine, then obviously, it’ll not be good for him. Louisville Slugger UPM50 comes under this budget.

If you are playing in the high school baseball, then 600$ to 900$ machine may be enough for you, but again for the professional players, you need a machine that can pitch a ball at a much faster speed.

Do You Need a Separate Pitching Machine for Baseball & Softball?

Most of the pitching machines can throw both softball and baseball without any difficulty.

But, some machines throw softball or baseball because of their different sizes of baseballs and softballs.

In most of the cases, you do not have to purchase a separate pitching machine for baseball and softball.

But, before purchasing, it is important to take a look at the description of the product whether it is possible to throw a different wall with it or not because with some machines you can pitch a different ball by just adjusting the machine but some machines are not made for pitching other types of balls.

How Fast Can a Pitching Machine Throw?

The speed of a baseball pitch depends on the price of the pitching machine.

Generally, the inexpensive pitching machines that cost 100$ to 150$ can throw a baseball at a speed of 35 mph to 60 mph.

I know this is a big range. Even this is not accurate because there are so brands that manufacture these machines and you’ll find some machines that throw a little slower than that. While some machines in this price range can throw a little faster than that.

But, you’ll get a general idea from this price range.

While if you spend a little extra money like 200$ or 300$, then you can expect 60 to 75 mph speed.

These all are general numbers.

But, one thing is for sure, if you want a pitch at a speed of more than 80 mph, then you have to spend much more than 300$. Even, you may have to spend 800$ or 1000$ for that.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pitching Machine

Portability

Transporting a pitching machine

Your baseball pitching machine should be portable because you can’t keep it in open all the time. Even, you may not want to place it at one place all the time.

After practicing, you will want to store it in your house or you need to take it somewhere else.

If your machine is not portable or it is too heavy, then it can be a real problem for you every time when you want to move it from one place to another.

Different Types

As told earlier, there are three types of pitching machines available from which you can choose.

  1. Armed Pitching Machine
  2. Wheeled Pitching Machine
  3. Compressed Air Pitching Machine

In simple words, the armed pitching machines are for professional players or for those who can purchase expensive products.

The wheeled machines are for middle to high school baseball players. These machines throw a ball at a good speed and you can find them at an affordable price depending upon the features & pitching speed.

The compressed air machines are also for middle to high school baseball players because they are affordable and can throw a ball at a good speed.

Power Source

Generally, players prefer battery powered or manual machines because in most of the fields it is not practical to find a power source.

In that case, battery powered or manual machines are perfect. For that purpose, compressed air machines and wheeled machines are the good options.

Speed is Important

The speed is one of the main features that determines the price of a baseball pitching machine.

Generally, the inexpensive or cheap pitching machines can throw a ball at a slower speed.

If you expect 50 to 60 mph pitches, then you have to spend at least 100$. As the speed increases, the price also increases.

While, if you are expecting more than 80 mph, then you have to spend a lot more than 100$. For a speed of higher than 80 mph, 700$ or 800$ is a common price or you may even have to pay more than that.

Auto-Ball Feeders

Auto ball feeding in pitching machine

This is also one of the important features that you can’t ignore.

If your pitching machine doesn’t support ball feeding, then you can’t do solo practicing.

This could be a feature that you may not find in some of the inexpensive products.

For solo practicing, you will need a pitching machine that has an automatic ball feeding functionality so that when you are on the batting side, you can alone hit the balls that come from the machine. There will be no need of the second person who stands with the machine to feed the next ball.

So, automatic ball feeding is a really helpful feature that should be present in every machine. But, if your machine doesn’t have that feature then you’ll need an extra person who will feed the ball again and again after every hit.

If you have someone, then you’re good to go. But, if not, then automatic ball feeding feature is necessary for you.

Baseball + Softball

Baseball + Softball

Are you a baseball player or a softball player?

This determines which machine you’ll need.

In general, your machine will be able to throw both baseballs and softballs, but before purchasing it is important to see the details.

There are some machines that are designed for only softballs or baseballs, so before doing the final payment make sure it is for baseball, softball, or you can throw both types of balls with it.

Warranty Period

Money Back Guarantee for Baseball

The warranty period depends on the product to product.

It is one of the most important factors that you should consider before purchasing, but still very few people consider it.

You can guess the durability by just looking at the warranty period of a product.

The manufacturers are not going to give you a 5 Years of warranty if they already know their product can’t even last for 2 years.

So, if you see a product that comes with 5 Years of warranty, then you can guess it is going to last for much more than 5 years.

Along with that the warranty period also gives you security in case if you get some defective product or you get some problem with the product.

Price Matters

How much does it cost?

The price increases as the features increases.

If you are expecting a machine that can throw a ball at a very fast speed, then you have to pay more money for that.

A machine that can throw a ball at a speed of more than 85 mph, then you can expect it’ll cost more than 1000$.

While if you need a machine that throws at only 40 to 60 mph, then you can buy it at an approximately 100 or 200$.

Best Baseball Pitching Machines

Louisville Slugger UPM45 Pitching Machine

This is one of the most popular baseball pitching machines in the players, and it should be because it is really worth the price you pay.

It can throw hard balls like baseballs and softballs at a speed range of 18 to 45 mph, while it can throw lightweight practice baseballs & softballs up to 60 mph speed.

You can throw any type of ball with it, whether it is hard ball or softball, or even you can throw soccer & volleyballs with it because you just have to place the ball on it, and it’ll throw.

This is also very accurate. You just have to do micro adjustments to change the speed, length, flight of the ball. With some changes, you can easily throw strikes, fly balls, and even grounders.

With this ability of throwing multiple of balls, you can conveniently use it for the practice session. There will be no need of hitting the ball just to provide practice balls to the fielders. You just have to do some micro adjustments and it’ll throw perfect balls for any type of player whether it is a catcher, hitter, infielder or outfielder.

So, along with batting, it also helps in catching drills.

Another thing that makes it popular is it’s completely manual. There is no need of any power source or batteries. This is a really important feature because players can’t use many pitchers for long time because they have to recharge the batteries or they didn’t find the power source in the field. But, there is no problem with this machine, and you can use it without thinking about any such problem.

Along with that, it is very lightweight, just 25 lbs, so you can easily transport it from one place to another.

But, if you want to practice with it, then you need someone who will load the balls one at a time, and handle the machine to throw a ball by pressing the lever.

This is not a big deal for most of the players, but if you mostly do solo practice, then this is a big thing for you. You can’t do solo practice with it.

Pros

  • Lightweight, just 25 lbs
  • Portable
  • Completely manual, no electricity or batteries
  • Throw hardball at 18 to 45 mph, while lightweight balls up to 60 mph
  • Any type of balls can be used
  • Can throw multiple type of balls like flyers, grounders, strikes etc
  • Accurate throw
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Not for solo practice, one person required to control the machine
  • Auto-ball feeder not present

Who Should Buy This?

This baseball & softball pitching machine is perfect for young players. As a general rule, it is good for kids who are 11 or 12 years old or younger than that, because for players who are older than that may not find it a little challenging.

For players above that age, they need a machine that can throw a little faster than that. This may not be a good product for them.

But, for young players, there is no doubt about that it is one of the best.

That’s why, this pitching machine is authorized to use in the majority of young leagues including Babe Ruth Baseball & Softball League, Pony League Baseball & Softball, and in many more.

I highly recommend that you take a look at the customer reviews of Louisville Slugger UPM45 Machine and see how parents & coaches are using it to help the young players in their practice.

See Details of Louisville Slugger UPM45

HEATER SPORTS Deuce Pitching Machine

The HEATER SPORTS Deuce is one of the best pitching machines for high school & college baseball players.

The biggest problem with the pitching machines is that they can’t throw a ball at a fast speed, but this throws at a great speed that makes it perfect for big boys & girls.

With this machine, you can throw a baseball at a speed range between 15 to 75 mph, while it can throw lite-balls up to 85 mph. This is a really good range because most of the machines can’t throw at this range, and if you just come forward for feet then it’ll feel like you’re facing an 85 mph ball.

The dual pneumatic tires are able to throw curve-balls, sliders, and fastballs easily.

When it comes wheeled pitching machines, they could be dangerous because of the fast-moving wheel. Therefore, to enhance the safety and durability of the wheel, the wheels are enclosed in the metal covering that gives extra safety and helps them to last longer.

The pivot head design is also a good feature because with that you can tilt the machine at any particular angle that you want that enables you to throw pitches at certain angles. This functionality gives you the feeling like you’re playing in the natural game.

The 12 balls automatic ball feeder is an extremely helpful feature that is a game changer. With this feature, it can throw 12 pitches after every 8 seconds which is enough for the hitter to adjust and prepare for the next pitch. With the auto ball feeder feature, there is no need for the second person which will control the machine to throw the pitch again and again. You can do the solo practice without any problem.

As the weight is 75 lbs, you can easily store it in the backseat or trunk of a truck or car, and transport it to the field.

When it throws a ball, it should be stable, and for that strong steel legs are present.

But, to make it work, you’ll need A/C power supply. This could be a problem if there is no power source in the field where you want to practice.

This machine is perfect for the high school baseball players and adults because it throws at a fast speed.

Another thing that gives a reason to purchase it is the company offers 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, and One-Year Warranty. If you don’t find it good enough, then you can the full money back depending upon the condition.

Pros

  • Throws baseballs at 15 to 75 mph, while the lite-balls up to 85 mph
  • Wheel coverings for safety
  • Auto ball feeder throws a pitch after every 8 seconds
  • Lightweight & portable
  • Ability to throw a ball at a certain angle
  • One-Year Warranty
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Cons

  • Constant power supply required, but a manual machine can’t throw at this speed

Who Should Buy This?

The HEATER SPORTS Deuce is perfect for the high school or adult baseball players.

If you look at the cheap machines, then they are not good for the high school players because they can’t throw balls at such a high speed with stability.

As the high school or adult players need a lot of high-quality practice due to the tough competition, therefore, this machine is perfect for them because it can throw high-speed balls at a certain angle which you can’t find in common machines.

For the high school players, I highly recommend that taking a look at this.

Check Price & Reviews of HEATER SPORTS Deuce

HEATER SPORTS Baseball Pitching Machine

This is a great machine that is affordable and throws a ball at 10 to 45 mph, while the lite ball at 15 to 60 mph.

The automatic 12 ball feeder is the facility that you can’t get at this price range. By just feeding it 12 balls at one time, you can do the solo practice, and it’ll throw a ball after every 8 seconds.

By installing it in the batting cage, this becomes a perfect training equipment that helps you to improve your hitting skills.

This is lightweight and highly portable so you can easily take it where you want.

But, you need a power source for it to work. For that, you can simply plug it and you can enjoy for hours without any problem. A standard wall outlet can also work for it.

The metal covering is also present that provides safety from the fast-moving wheel.

Pros

  • Throw real baseballs at 10 to 45 mph
  • Metal covering for protection from wheel
  • Lightweight & Portable
  • Auto-ball feeder
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Need power source

Who Should Buy This?

If you want an affordable baseball pitching machine for the young players then this is perfect for you.

This throws in a range of 10 to 45 mph, so for 6 to 12 years, old players will love to play with it.

This is a good alternative for the Louisville Slugger UPM45 Pitching Machine because it throws at a similar speed but it offers the auto ball feeding functionality which is not present in Louisville.

So, if the solo practice is important for you then HEATER SPORTS Machine is the best option.

See Details of HEATER SPORTS Baseball Machine

Final Words

For baseball players, pitching machines are very important that’s why they should only buy the top rated baseball pitching machines.

If you buy a good one, then you don’t need another one for a few years.

So, make sure to spend as per your budget, and buy the best one according to that.

I hope that you had found all the answers to your questions.

If you have any questions, then leave them in the comment box, I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.

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Vijay Singh
I love Baseball, and I researched a lot about how to improve your game. For that, you need the proper baseball cleats, bats, helmet, and other training equipment. So, I share everything that you require to become a better baseball player.

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