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Are Pitching Machines Harder To Hit?

Written by: Coach Neil



Time to read 4 min

Pitching machines (also sometimes called hitting machines) are harder to hit off of than human pitchers when and if you need them to be. That’s the wonderful thing about these machines and what makes them worth the investment; you have control over pitch speed, pitch styles, and pitch interval speed for all of your hitting drills. In this blog, we’ll explore the different advantages and disadvantages of this technology so you can find the best baseball pitching machine to take your batting skills to the next level.

Is It Harder To Hit off a Pitching Machine?

At first glance, it’s harder to hit off a human pitcher because you can never predict exactly what a human is going to do. Even if a person tries their best, they likely won’t be able to pitch the exact same way multiple times in a row. However, there are times when it can be harder to hit off a pitching machine.

Why is it harder to hit off a pitching machine? First, batters can use pitching machines to target a specific weakness. If a player has more trouble hitting breaking balls as opposed to speed pitches, then the pitching machine will fire off breaking ball after breaking ball for targeted batting practice. This will be more challenging than facing down a live pitcher who may slip up and throw an easy fastball.

Another reason why pitching machines can be harder to hit off than human pitchers is that they often require a faster reaction time from the batter.  Wheel-based machines pitch through a chute, which gives little warning as to when a pitch is coming. This takes away the important visual cue of live pitching---watching the pitcher’s arm and release---which forces the batter to react quickly.

When it comes down to it, the key advantage of using a pitching machine is that you have more control over what pitches you have to hit. Additional advantages of practicing with a pitching machine include:

  • The ability to practice batting on your own

  • Flexibility to use indoors or outdoors

  • Easy to move around and travel with

  • More reps during each hitting session

  • Higher quality pitches during each hitting session

  • Increased safety for batters and pitchers

Human pitches have more variance, which can lead to less efficient practices. With a quality pitching machine in your batting cage, you can throw consistent strikes, from a soft toss to breaking balls. Looking to keep hitters on your toes?  MaxBP pitching machines come with a wide variety of settings that are easy to switch between. 

Are Pitching Machines Bad for Hitters?

Pitching machines are a great tool for hitters when used properly, from professional baseball players to little league players. The benefits of using a pitching machine are:

  • More reps

  • More control over pitch style

  • More control over pitch accuracy

However, improper use can have a negative impact on hitters. First, hitters still need to know their bodies. The pitching machine won’t get tired, so it’s up to the players and coaches to know when to take a break. Second, pitching machines may require a special type of ball to avoid wear and tear. For example, wheel-based machines need to pitch balls that don’t have a seam sticking out because that uneven surface can damage the wheels over time.

MaxBP machines are specifically designed to overcome the potential downsides of hitting machines. Here’s how:

  • Launching practice balls that can reach high velocities without risking your safety

  • Pitching with variety in the strike zone to develop pitch recognition

  • Utilizing practice balls that are 6 grams (+/- 0.1 grams) and 41mm in diameter, which have a superior consistency compared to other options, that reduces wear and tear on your equipment

  • Throwing high-velocity pitches that go only 100 ft. instead of 400 ft., so you spend more time practicing and less time chasing down balls

Overall, the best pitching machines for youth baseball and softball players are machines that both coaches and players can use safely and confidently. That’s why  MaxBP pitching machines come with clear controls so users can up the challenge without increasing the chances of an accident or injury.

Are Pitching Machines Accurate?

Pitching machines overall have higher accuracy than human pitchers. During batting practice, this means that pitches have the intended style and fly through the strike zone. This is helpful for two reasons:

  • Higher accuracy means fewer batters get hit by pitchers, making for a safer and more enjoyable practice.

  • Higher accuracy means more consistency, so your practices are more efficient for developing the skills you intend to.

Within pitching machines, there’s a hierarchy of accuracy. From most accurate to least accurate, here’s the order:

  • Three-wheel pitching machines

  • Two-wheel pitching machines

  • One-wheel pitching machines

  • Arm pitching machines

  • Mechanical pitching machines

Searching for an accurate pitching machine? Give  MaxBP a go!

Are Pitching Machines Accurate?

Do Pros Hit off Pitching Machines for Batting Practice?

MLB teams and pros use pitching machines as a part of their regular practice. That’s because pitching machines are excellent for keeping fundamental skills sharp, and that’s valuable at any level of play, especially in the big leagues.

However, it’s important to note that the best pitching machine for the pros isn’t always the same as the best pitching machine for home use or for youth players. For example, major league teams have access to virtual pitching machines that can mimic specific players' live pitching. While these can be great for practicing before a certain rivalry game, these machines cost tens of thousands of dollars, which is completely out of budget for teams and players below the major league level.

Instead, youth coaches and players should focus on getting a baseball pitching machine that challenges players' skills with a variety of pitch styles and speeds. This can help you improve your bat speed andoverall hitting average.

Do Pitching Machines Improve Hitting in Baseball?

Pitching machines improve hitting in baseball by developing batters’ reaction times to a variety of pitches as well as their hand eye coordination. These machines also allow batters to get in more reps than if they only relied on human pitchers. After all, human pitchers need to rest their shoulders so they’re ready to go for game day.

Do Pitching Machines Improve Hitting in Baseball?

Challenge Your Player with a MaxBP Baseball Pitching Machine!

Pitching machines are an ideal piece of equipment for taking your batting technique to the next level. Between exceptional accuracy, consistency, and customization, you can work on the exact skills you need to improve most. With MaxBP, that means a combination of skinny bats and golf-sized practice balls to challenge you to find the sweet spot when swinging.  Explore our pitching machine options , then prepare to see the results on game day!