Continued from page 1
Rack Fed or Hopper Fed: There are two types, one which is rack-fed and will hold 38 baseballs or 28 softballs, other is a hopper-fed model which holds 600 baseballs, obviously less softballs and is ultimate backyard or Major-League toy…I mean serious baseball training tool. Distinct Advantages are that player can see pitcher wind up, so he "triggers" his swing which develops a more realistic timing mechanism. These machines are tough. You can go many years before you need replacement parts (which are cheap and easy to replace). Lubricating a few places is about all maintenance there is. No auto feed needed as rack version holds plenty and hopper version holds 600 baseballs. The softball hopper machine holds 400. Distinct Disadvantages are simply that they throw only fastballs and are not really mobile though two rack-fed models we offer do come equipped with built in wheels & a dolly system. Click here to see our Arm Style Pitching Machines
"Lightweight" Throwing Machines: These machines use baseball sized 2 oz. balls thrown at various speeds (25 to 70 MPH depending on which model). Some throw various pitches from various angles as well. Cages are still advised though our portable cages are perfectly matched for lighter balls. We've even got a great poly-ball (hollow wiffleball) machine that will get up to 55 to 60 MPH range and is absolutely perfect for entry-level players (optional auto feeder package is a must). Distinct Advantages are low price and ability to use them with our inexpensive portable cages, many of which occupy only 30, 40 or 50 ft, perfect for small backyards. Auto feeders are available too. Some can optionally operate on auto-type batteries. We now even offer a rechargeable "power station" that will allow you to take it to parks where no electrical power is available. They ship UPS so obviously they are very portable too. Distinct Disadvantages are that they do not throw real baseballs and to some that is not what they are looking for in a pitching machine. They also aren't built as tough as our "real ball" machines.
Options… and Other Considerations: The final piece of puzzle is extras that some want and some don't.
Auto Feeders are great where a player works out alone a lot of time. They are simple mechanisms that will allow a ball to enter pitching machine every 7 or so seconds. The smaller feeders will hold 20 baseballs or 16 softballs and are priced around $300 in real ball machines. The lightweight machines hold between 24 and 28 balls. The larger real ball feeders will hold 80 baseballs (no softball version as yet) with a price tag of over $500. Cordless remote controls are also available. Some of our lightweight machines have auto feeder options that range from $69 to $99. (You will find these items on specific pitching machine pages)
Batting Cages - Full sized cages generally are 60 or 70 ft in length, 12 ft in height and 14 ft wide. (yes we can help you with other sizes but these cover 85 % of market). Count on $1500. to $1900 and please don't buy junk if you do buy elsewhere! Click here to see our full-size cages.
Our portable cages range from $250 to $350 for lightweight applications and $595 for real baseball machines. Depending on size and weight of required netting. (See money-saving packages on our pitching machine pages.) Click here to see our portable cages.
So How Do You Ultimately Pick? I think common sense concerning amount of room you have, your budget and age of players will generally whittle it down for you between a real baseball machine or one of lightweight machines. Young players will use it for more years, though older players may tend to be more serious about trying to get to next level so age in and of itself is NOT determining factor. Extremely young children however need one of our poly-ball or light-flight machines for common sense reasons.
Get your free instructional articles at www.baseballtips.com
SubmittedCoach John Peter, presently aged 50 something, is a lifelong student of the greatest game on earth. After being asked to find a more suitable occupation at age 26, many seasons after donning his first uni at age 7, he has transcended his skills into the much more important role of coach and especially as an instructor! He prides himself as never having charged any player or coach for a single lesson!