Best Pitching Targets and Pitcher's Pockets
The pitching great all have one thing in common, work ethic. To improve your pitching game and reach the next level, a pitcher needs repetition after repetition to master different pitches, accuracy, and more.
It’s not always possible to face a batter or have a catcher to receive your pitches. In order, to get enough reps and pitches in, you’ll need equipment that allows you to pitch in a safe and controlled environment.
That’s where a pitching target comes in. Ranging from nets to targets, this type of equipment provides an alternative to a catcher and gives you the opportunity to focus on your pitching.
There are tons of pitching targets on the market, so we will break down some of the best products and go into more depth in a buying guide. With this information, you will have a better idea as to what pitching target you should buy.
Top 11 Pitching Targets and Pitching Pockets
This product is similar to a pitching net, but it has 9 pockets that allow the pitcher to try to hit different parts of the strike zone. With this immediate feedback, you can focus on accuracy and see right away how accurate your pitches are. It is also made of high-quality materials, so it’s durable, a necessity for a piece of equipment that will face fast pitches.
- Ships fully assembled, so it’s easy to set up and get going
- Adjustable height
- Detachable legs, so it’s easy to store
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
This product comes at a premium price, but it’s a great pitching aid for any baseball or softball club or program. The adjustable height means multiple age groups can get use out of this training equipment.
This is a large pitching net that can be used for pitching as well as other throwing and batting drills. Due to the larger size, errant pitches will still be caught in the net. Additionally, it has a strike zone, so pitchers can focus their aim better. This product’s strength is its versatility as it can be deployed in a variety of drills and thus brings added value to a baseball or softball program.
- Bow Frame
- Carry bag for easy transport and storage
- 90 second setup
- Metal stakes to anchor the net
If you’re looking for a solid pitching net that can also be used in other drills, this may be your best bet.
3. Tap K Target
Rather than a net, this is an accessory that can be attached to a net frame or fence. The K Target is a pad divided into 4 colored zones as well as a center zone. The different colors and targets on the pad are designed to give the pitcher a variety of options and information. The bright colors will fatigue players and help them deal with high-pressure situations.
- target size is 66" x 42”
- Net/screen sold separately
- Visual stressors to train pitchers
This target pad is a great addition to a pitcher’s training regimen. It offers something unique from other traditional pitching nets and targets
This training equipment is geared toward fielding, an essential part of being a pitcher. SKLZ designed the net to provide three realistic game-like ball returns: ground balls, line drives, and fly balls. It’s a piece of equipment that focuses on reaction time, perhaps the most important skill for pitchers as they stand directly in the line of fire. With a simple set up and breakdown, this rebounder net can be quickly deployed in between pitching sessions.
- Practice grounders, line drives, and fly balls
- Adjustable based on what ball you want train fielding
- Simple set up
An excellent fielding trainer for pitchers as well as the rest of your team.
Another versatile fielding rebounder, Champions Sports designed this piece of equipment to be used in multiple sports including baseball and softball. It can be adjusted for different drills including throwing and fielding. It also has a large zone in the middle that is perfect for practicing accuracy in throwing drills. This is first and foremost a fielding trainer, but due to its versatility, it deserves a spot on our top 11 list.
- Can be used for Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Football, Volleyball, Basketball or Tennis
- Netting Measures 42 Inches x 72 Inches
- Adjustable for different drills
- Durable nylon net
This training aid can help pitchers improve their fielding, but its true value is to a sports program or school that wants to use this equipment across multiple sports.
This large net can be used for both batting and pitching drills. The large surface area of the net ensures player and coach safety. It also folds down for an easy takedown and can be loaded into a bag for simple transport and storage. Compared to other similar nets, it’s one of the sturdiest on the market, and it will be able to stand the test of time.
- Super strong 7-ply knotless netting
- Thick frame
- Fiberglass poles
- Carrying case
A simple, yet effective piece of equipment that will save you from chasing down balls and get your pitching reps up.
You’ll be able to spot this neon green pitching net from a mile away. The design also includes a neon orange center for improved visibility that will have practicing pitchers honing in on the strike zone. It can also be used for batting practice or other throwing drills. Pitchers can also aim for the strike zone in the middle, making this an excellent option for training accuracy.
- Bow frame
- Carrying bag
- Strike zone
- Suitable for all ages
This huge net can be folded easily into a compact carrying bag, so it’s a pitching net that is great if you’re on the go or training in different locations.
This pitching pad has four pockets that focus the pitcher on painting the corners. It is an accessory that can be attached to various screens or fences and transform any area into a bullpen. The four pockets catch the ball so you can quickly see how many pitches end up in each quadrant. This is perhaps the most portable pitching aid on this list, and it’s also very durable.
- Endorsed by professional pitcher German Marquez
- Heavy duty ¼ inch foam material
- Four pockets
It’s a pitching target endorsed by a professional, and the ability to transform any chain-link fence into a strike zone makes it worth considering.
Aceletiqs designed this pitching target with 9 different pockets, so you can really see what part of the strike zone you’re hitting. It’s a top-end product made with high-quality materials that add to its longevity. Additionally, its height can be adjusted so pitchers of different heights and ages can use this training aid.
- 9 pocket strike zone design
- Adjustable height
- Industrial Gauge #60 Net
- Galvanized steel frame
It might seem like a steep price, but your pitchers will get hundreds of hours of use out of this equipment and greatly improve their accuracy.
The Designated Hitter is unique to the rest of the targets on this list as it’s one you don’t actually want to hit. Instead, this is a dummy that will stand in for a hitter and give a pitcher a more realistic feel when practicing.
- 5’9” and 37 pounds
- Can stand righty or lefty
- Durable material
The perfect stand in that will safely simulate a batter standing at the plate.
Bownet designed this simple training equipment with high-end materials that make it a great investment for a baseball program. The durable powder-coated steel frame can withstand fierce pitches and last you years. It’s a net with a huge pocket, hence the name, so it can be utilized in pitching, batting, and throwing practice.
- Carrying bag
- Energy Absorption System that diffuses ball energy throughout the net
A truly top-of-the line product with innovative design features that add to the lifespan of this excellent equipment.
Why do I need a Pitching Target?
A pitcher needs practice in a controlled and safe environment to finetune their skills. Pitching to a batter or with a catcher isn’t always an option and it can lead to injuries for other players and the pitcher as well.
A pitching target allows for pitchers to increase their reps and practice without needing any other players or coaches. This benefit protects player safety and makes sure that every pitcher on your team gets enough practice.
Another big benefit is that you can practice pitching in more areas. If a pitcher needs to warm up, they can set up an attachment like the Tap K Target on a chain link fence or backstop.
Perhaps most importantly, pitching targets can provide more detailed feedback than just pitching to a batter or catcher.
For example, pitching targets with pockets give immediate feedback by showing how many pitches make it into each corner of the strike zone. The Pitcher's Pocket Pro has nine pockets, so you can see what areas you’re hitting and how accurate your pitches are.
As a training aid, a pitching target can help a pitcher focus on specific skills such as accuracy and placement, and they provide opportunities to run different types of drills.
What size do I need?
The size of your desired pitching target will depend on what type of drills you want to run. A bigger target can be safer as it catches more errant pitches.
Larger nets like the GoSports 7'x7' Baseball & Softball Practice Hitting & Pitching Net can also be used in more than just pitching drills. It can also be used to work on outfielder’s long throwing accuracy or batting practice.
If you’re looking for a pitching target that will only be used for pitching practice then you can go for a smaller target. A smaller target will focus your pitcher more on accuracy and placement, important skills for any pitcher.
Smaller targets like attachments and accessories will also be easier to transport and set up than large targets. While all the large targets on our list come with a carrying bag there’s nothing simpler than an attachment that can be easily taken on or off a fence.
So, if you will transport the pitching target to different venues often then it may be advantageous to go with a smaller target or an attachment.
Ease of Assembly
Not only is the size of the target important, but many coaches and players will also be thinking of how easy it is to set up the target.
Targets that can be attached to screens and fences are the easiest to set up as they just need to be attached to a fence or screen. The PowerNet German Marquez Pitching Pad is a great example of this that includes many important features like designated areas for pitchers to focus on. However, these attachments also rely on you having an area for them to be attached to.
Larger nets can be more complex to set up, but those on our list do have certain features that make them easier to set up. For example, the Pitcher's Pocket Pro ships fully assembled, so it may be the easiest on our list to set up.
When thinking about assembly you should also be thinking of how often you plan to move the pitching target. If you want a larger net, you will probably still need to transport it and store it. Therefore, easy takedown and transport are of vital importance to a pitching target or net.
When purchasing a bigger pitching net, you should look for one that comes with a convenient carrying bag or case like the Rukket 7x7 Baseball & Softball Net. This will make life easier when you need to take down the net and move it to another location or store it.
Pitching targets and nets are likely to take a beating based on the types of drills they are for. Your net or target should be able to withstand repeated fastballs and hold up in different conditions.
You will want to buy a product that is made of sturdy materials. Things like galvanized steel frames, heavy-duty nylon netting and foam padding will add years to your target or net.
The Aceletiqs Pitching Target Net has a galvanized steel frame that makes it a durable option for a pitching net.
For pitching targets, high-quality foam padding is important to absorb the impact of repeated pitches. For example, the PowerNet German Marquez Pitching Pad features heavy duty ¼ inch foam material.
Innovative design can also add another wrinkle to the durability question. Here we look to companies that are producing cutting-edge technology that adds value to their product. The Bownet Original Big Mouth has an Energy Absorption System that disperses the impact of pitches throughout the net.
You need a target that will stand up to fast pitches as well. A target attached to a fence or screen needs to stay on in order for players to get use out of it. For attachable pitching pads, you want a system that you are comfortable with and that holds tightly to the fence.
Standalone nets or pads also need to stay upright so pitchers can get useful reps. For example, the GoSports 7'x7' Baseball & Softball Practice Hitting & Pitching Net has metal stakes that anchor the net and keep it upright.
The worst thing for a net is for it to develop holes that detract from its usefulness. Durability and high quality are absolute necessities for any good net.
The Champion Sports BN4272 Rebound Pitchback Net is a great showcase of this with its durable nylon netting.
You’ll also see nets with industrial grade netting, another great option. The Aceletiqs Pitching Target Net has an industrial gauge #60 net that will stand the test of time.
A good pitching target or net is essential to any promising pitcher. It provides a safe and controlled environment to increase pitching reps and focus on the skills most important to the craft.
In our list we’ve taken you through the most important aspects of this type of equipment, and as you can see you have plenty of options.
Through research and talking with your athletes, you will get a good idea of what type of pitching target or net is best for you pitchers.