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Are Pitching Machines Worth It?

Written by: Coach Neil

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Time to read 4 min

Pitching machines (sometimes referred to as hitting machines) add consistency and repetitions to your batting practice. When your pitcher’s shoulder needs rest, your machine can keep batting practice going. Still, all pitching machines aren’t created equal. Some are better for variety, while others more closely imitate game day conditions. Others still are good budget options until you get the chance to upgrade.


Are pitching machines good? Yes. Are pitching machines bad? Sometimes. In this blog, we’ll help you find the best baseball pitching machine to level up your game. Batter up!

Are Pitching Machines Accurate?

While no pitching machine is 100% accurate, these machines offer a more controllable experience than practicing with a human pitcher. These machines can throw strike after strike while offering other advantages:

  • Reduced Risk of Injury: Getting hit with a pitch hurts, even in practice. Mistakes happen, but they happen less with pitching machines. Still, it’s important to check your pitching machine for wear and tear to reduce the risk of inaccurate pitches and accidents.

  • More Practice Reps: Human pitchers get tired, and their joints can only deliver so many pitches during a certain stretch of time. Pitching machines give your pitchers a break so they can stay healthy and play their best on game day.

  • Focused Practice: Pitching machines can deliver the same style of pitch over and over again in a way that may be harder or more tedious with live pitching. If you have trouble hitting curveballs, then that’s exactly what you can practice.

It’s also important to note that some pitching machines are more accurate than others. Three-wheel machines offer more control than two-wheel machines, which have better accuracy than one-wheel machines.

For pitches that put you in control of the quality of your practice, trust  MaxBP pitching machines .

A green graphic that asks "Are Pitching Machines Accurate?

Can Pitching Machines Throw Breaking Balls?

Most pitching machines worth investing in are either two-wheel or three-wheel machines, as opposed to a single-arm machine. Two-wheel and three-wheel pitching machines can throw breaking balls. That’s because the wheels in these machines can manipulate the rpm of the ball to apply the downward and sideways spin needed for a breaking ball.

Other pitching machines, like one-wheel, mechanical, and arm machines, can’t apply the necessary rpm to the ball.

In addition to throwing different types of pitches—like fastballs, breaking balls, and curveballs—your pitching machine should have more customizable features. For example, the  MaxBP Original Baseball Pitching Machine has five exit velocities, five different feeder intervals, and left- and right-handed controls. This allows you to work on different speed pitches, a different release point, and more, all in an effort to improve your batting average.

Can Pitching Machines Throw Curve Balls?

Similar to breaking balls, two-wheel and three-wheel pitching machines can also throw curveballs. By adjusting each wheel to spin at a different speed, you can increase the rpm to change the direction and intensity of the curve.

Also, like breaking balls, one-wheel, mechanical, and arm machines aren’t capable of these types of pitches; they are limited to fastballs.

A graphic with a batter and the phrase "Can Pitching Machines Throw Curve Balls?"

What Pitching Machine Do MLB Teams Use in Batting Practice?

MLB teams use whichever pitching machine best suits whatever drills they’re working on. Most often, the versatility of two- and three-wheel machines offers the most options for batting practice. Fastballs, curveballs, breaking balls—these machines do it all.

MaxBP baseball pitching machines take versatility to the next level by having pop-fly attachments that give practice in the field, too.

While two- and three-wheel machines work for most practice needs, other machines can fill niche roles. For example, arm-pitching machines add an additional visual element to developing players’ reaction times. The machine looks like a pitcher’s arm moving, mimicking the game-day experience more closely.

Virtual pitching machine practices take the visual element a few steps further. Using a screen to display a video of a pitcher, these machines can mimic known opponents and get even closer to the real experience. However, these machines cost tens of thousands of dollars, limiting their use by the MLB.

Are Pitching Machines Worth It for Youth Baseball?

A baseball pitching machine for your youth player is a worthwhile investment. These machines provide you the opportunity to work on fundamental skills without exhausting the pitchers on the team. This keeps both players and pitchers ready to go for game day. Pitching machines are also useful for softball players.


The key advantage of pitching machines is that they help improve reaction times. Players can quickly learn to identify pitches and track the path of the ball. These benefits aren’t limited to batting, either.  MaxBP pitching machines also have pop-fly capabilities to ensure your players are great at hitting and catching.


Sourcing a used pitching machine can have advantages when it comes to cost savings. However, make sure you thoroughly inspect used machines because wear and tear can negatively impact pitch accuracy.

A green and white graphic with the text "Are Pitching Machines Worth It for Youth Baseball?"

Improve Your Players’ Reaction Times with a MaxBP Baseball Pitching Machine!

The best pitching machine prepares you for whatever pitches come your way. That readiness is what you get when you practice with MaxBP pitching machines. Take the  MaxBP Pro Pitching Machine , for example. This machine can break down curveballs into regular curves, sliders, or cutters. With advanced timing settings to work with, you can truly challenge your players to level up with higher speeds. Other advantages of using MaxBP reaction training machines include:

  • Variety within the strike zone to challenge reaction time

  • Capacity to hold 96 balls to keep pitches coming one right after the other

  • Max pitch distance of 100 ft., so you spend time practicing instead of chasing balls

  • 5 feeder interval speeds between 3 and 8 seconds for ultimate customization

  • Practice balls challenge batting technique and are safe for players, bystanders, and property

Ready to hit a home run with your team?  Explore our machines and  give us a call with any questions! 

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