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Pitching Machine Comparison Chart

Jul 13, 2022 0 comments

Compare Top Rated Pitching Machines to Find The Best Machine For You

At Anytime Baseball Supply we carry all types of baseball and softball pitching machines that can meet any player or team’s needs. From different price ranges to machine features and styles, we have you covered.

We have everything from simple machines for youth baseball to top-drawer machines with all the bells and whistles that can throw every kind of pitch imaginable.

Below is a guide to some of the different features and types of pitching machines and some recommendations in each category. 

What are the different types of pitching machines?

First let's cover the different types of pitching machines available. We have one wheel pitching machines, two wheel pitching machines, three wheel pitching machines, arm style pitching machines and mechanical pitching machines. If you're interested in learning about how a pitching machine works, click here

Let's take a deeper look at each of these pitching machines! 

One-Wheel Pitching Machines

The first type of machine we’ll take a look at is the one-wheel pitching machine, one of the simplest pitching machines.

Generally speaking, the more wheels a pitching machine has, the more advanced functionality it has (and more power), so a wider variety of pitches can be thrown.

With that said, one-wheel pitching machines are excellent for youth and beginning players, and as a budget option, they still have great utility for more advanced hitters. 

It should also be noted that one wheel machines can only throw fastballs, usually to the same spot (unless you manually move the machine), which is great for any player wanting to work on their swing. But for any player looking to step up their game and learn how to hit breaking balls, a 1 wheel pitching machine may not be the best option. 

For that reason, the Heater Sports BaseHit pitching machine is one of the best-selling one wheel pitching machines on the market. It’s very affordable and pitches consistent pitches up to 45 mph. This makes it a great option for youth players, and it can be used with more advanced hitters to fine-tune hitting mechanics. 

We also recommend the First Pitch Baseline as a good option. This machine can pitch baseballs and softballs, and can be used for infield and outfield drills. 

 

Two-Wheel Pitching Machines

Two-wheel pitching machines have added functionality and thus come at a slightly higher price point. 

The extra wheel allows for different pitches to be thrown, which is a necessity to train hitters for the next level. As the two wheels spin and project the ball forward, you can manipulate the upward or downward plane of the baseballs trajectory. 

For example, if the top wheel spins faster than the bottom wheel, the ball will drop faster, creating a curve ball. 

Furthermore, two wheel pitching machines have more power than 1 wheel machines and can thus pitch the ball faster. 

With the Heater Sports Deuce 95 MPH 2 Wheel Curveball Pitching Machine you can have your players practice fastballs and breaking balls. It still comes in at an affordable price and is popular on high school baseball fields.

Three-Wheel Pitching Machines

Three wheel pitching machines are the most advanced pitching machines that you can buy. They are bigger, faster and pricier, but you get the quality you are paying for in this price range.

A three-wheel pitching machine allows for more complete control over the type of pitches your hitters receive in batting practice.

For example, with the Hack Attack 3 Wheel Pitching Machine you have control of the speed of each individual wheel, massively increasing the types of pitches that you can throw with the machine. Curveballs, sliders, split fingers, and 100 mph fastballs are also possible with this elite machine. The Jr. Hack Attack is another very popular 3 wheel machine with the same features at a lower price point. 

Top-level players in high school, college, and the pros will really get the most out of three-wheel pitching machines.

Arm-Style Pitching Machines

This type of machine attempts to more closely simulate the pitch trajectory of a human pitcher. The hitter gets more targeted practice that will help with a game-like atmosphere at the plate. With these machines, instead of wheels projecting the ball forward, it is a catapult like arm, that literally throws the ball forward.

Some say this style of machine is more natural to they eye of the batter, creating a more realistic game scenario. 

Created in the 1950s, arm style pitching machines are the oldest style of pitching machine. Click here to learn about who invented the pitching machine.

On the flip side, arm style machines can only throw fastballs straight to the same spot. And because of this, much like one wheel machines, these machines are good for working on timing and swing, and offer no use to those looking to practice their hitting against breaking balls. 

Iron Mike does a superb line of arm-type pitching machines with the top-of-the-line being the Iron Mike MP-4 Pitching Machine. This machine is built extra sturdy to protect against line drives and can store 600 baseballs or 400 softballs at a time. 

Portability

When you’re setting out to buy a pitching machine you should also consider how often you’re planning to move the machine. As the machines increase in functionality, they often increase in weight and decrease in portability.

For example, the Hack Attack 3 Wheel Pitching Machine is 160 pounds. But, as it is a top-end product it comes with large transporting wheels to make takedown and setup easier.

Arm-type pitching machines are the heaviest and most difficult to move, the Iron Mike MP-4 Pitching Machine weighs 625 pounds. Therefore, this type of machine is best used in a more stationary setting, such as an indoor facility or batting cage.

Pitch Types

More advanced machines will be able to pitch a wider variety of pitches, which makes them more useful to advanced hitters. One-wheel pitching machines are typically limited to just being able to throw fastballs, and usually at a lower speed.

Two-wheel machines generally have the ability to throw an additional type of pitch based on the design of the machine. 

If you want the widest variety of pitch type, you’ll have to go with a three-wheel pitching machine. These machines can pitch all types of pitches with simple adjustments to the wheel.

Some machines will be able to throw both overhand pitches for baseball and underhand pitches for softball. If you’re in the market for a softball pitching machine or combo machine it’s important to carefully consider the functionalities of the machines you’re looking at.

The First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine is a top-selling one-wheel combo pitching machine. These are especially useful for schools on a budget that want a machine that both the softball and baseball teams can use.

The Heater Real 12 inch Softball Pitching Machine With Ball Feeder is highly recommended if you want a softball-only pitching machine.

Speed

The max speed is an important measure that determines the utility of a pitching machine. 

Overall, one-wheel machines have less speed capability than two or three-wheel machines. For example, the Heater Sports BaseHit Real Baseball Portable Pitching Machine can pitch up to 45 mph.

Top-level three-wheel machines are where you’ll find the top-end of speed. Many of the three-wheel machines offered on our website top out at 100 mph, giving them the ability to simulate MLB fastballs.

The Spinball Wizard 3 Wheel Baseball Pitching Machine has the ability to pitch at 100 mph, but it can also be dialed down to 40 mph, so it can be used in a range of batting drills.

Pitching Machine Controls

Top-end machines have a higher level of customization ranging from controlling trajectory to wheel speed.

While most machines have manual controls, you can also buy machines that have preset programs.  The Hack Attack Programmable Baseball Pitching Machine has 8 preset drills that can be set up on a touch screen.

Infield and outfield drills

Many pitching machines can also be used in fielding drills. They can throw, pop flys, line drives, and grounders.

This functionality is not exclusive to top-end products, a simple one-wheel machine like the Heater BaseHit Real Baseball Pitching Machine also can be used for fielding drills.


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