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Best Pitching Machines – 5 Choices to Improve your Hitting! (2019 Update)

Let’s face it…

best pitching machinesWithout practicing your swing, you won’t improve as a baseball player.

That being said…it’s hard to get game ready.

You could practice technique all day long, but without simulating what the pitcher might throw at you…good luck finding your groove!

So how can you get more game ready?

One of the easier way is using on the best pitching machines listed below.

I mean what better way to gain additional confidence from your hard practice and technique work then by taking some actual cuts at the ball?

For this year (2019), the following machines come highly recommended by other users:

ImagePitching MachineRating (/5)PriceWeight (lbs)Speed Range (mph)Latest Price
Louisville UPM454.6$2318 to 65
Jugs M600 Lite-Flite4.4$$3530 to 50
Trend Sports Heater4$$4515 to 50
Zooka ZS7404.4$$$4510 to 70
ATEC Casey Pro4.4$$3030 to 60

Quick pitching machine reviews

Want some quick reviews on what we feel are 2019’s preferred choices in pitching machines? You can find them below.

1- Louisville Slugger UPM45 blue Flame

The Louisville Slugger UPM45, the official pitching machine of Babe Ruth League and Pony Baseball and Softball, is a highly recommended training tool for parents and coaches who want to save their arms and want to help young players overcome their fears and perfect their swinging and hitting skills. This is the most affordable model by far but it is also the simplest to use.

Designed for ages 6 and up, it throws reliable, consistent, and accurate pitches without any electrical power required. But that’s not all. The UPM45 can also pitch any type of ball including regulation type baseballs and softballs at a speed range of 18-45 mph. The UPM45 is not only a pitching machine that throws consistent and reliable pitches, but it can also throw hard grounders and fly balls for fielding practice.

The UPM45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine is a must have for all parents and coaches because of its high quality and sturdy built, ease of use and easy portability. With a compact design that fits in the car trunk easily and weighing only 25 pounds, moving the machine is not cumbersome at all. The speed and height adjustments require a little fine tuning in the beginning but once the correct settings are locked in, throwing consistent pitches is a piece of cake for anyone. Read the full review here.

2- Jugs M600 Lite-Flight

When you talk about the best pitching machines, JUGS Sports is often heard of. It is the #1 bestselling company of baseball pitching machines. The JUGS Lite-Flite is the longest lasting and least expensive pitching machine of its kind.

With easy Select-A-Pitch™ pitch selection that can be calibrated to throw left handed or right handed, fastballs, curveballs and sliders, the JUGS Lite-Flite can truly throw big league style pitches at a minor league price. This is a feature rarely found in pitching machines available at this price. The swivel design rotates 360 degrees and can be adjusted easily for fly balls, pop-ups and grounders, which is great for practicing defensive drills in the backyard. Not just that, but the JUGS Lite-Flite includes a quick change design feature that can help you switch between baseball and softball in seconds.

The JUGS Lite-Flite is excellent for practicing with younger kids as it only throws lighter practice balls that will give a fear free practice session and will help young players develop their hitting techniques without the worry of getting hurt.

By giving younger kids a fear free practice session and older players a variety of pitch types to play with, this one is a true training tool that will make practice sessions more fruitful in the end. Read what we think.

3- Heater Pitching Machine

Our next choice of pitching machine reviews looks at the Heater pitching machine. The Heater baseball pitching machine has been known for quite some time as Trend Sport’s #1 bestseller in pitching machines. It is also among the top 10 bestselling pitching machines of its kind.

The Heater pitching machine has a lot to brag about. Available for only $400, the machine is loaded with features and benefits that make it a preferable choice among users and an excellent training tool in the hands of a coach. It features a 10 speed variable speed dial that allows you to choose speeds from 10-50 mph for a fantastic day of practice. With this speed range, the machine is good for ages between 5-15 years.

One feature that truly sets the Heater Pitching Machine apart from others is its Auto Ball Feeder that is included with the package. The ball feeder can hold 12 balls at a time and pitches balls every 12 seconds for great solo practice. But that’s not all. The machine can pitch regulation type leather baseballs and lighter practice balls, which is great for both realistic baseball practice or a fear free practice with lighter ball.

When we talk about pitching machines, we often think about batting practice. But with adjustable pitch height, the Heater pitching machine lets you practice defensive drills in your backyard as well, making it more versatile and a worthwhile investment overall. Read our review.

4- Zooka ZS740

The Zooka ZS740 is a revolutionary product that has changed everything you know about pitching machines. The ZS740 brings the first ever, fully digital pitching machine that can throw balls as fast as 65 mph on battery power. At a very nominal price, this is truly what you call innovation.

The first feature that sets the Zooka ZS740 apart, and makes it one of the top choices of pitching machines, is its rechargeable battery that makes it a true portable machine. Just charge it at home and take it with you on the field. The battery lasts a really long time and is good for more than 500 pitches, which is good enough for one practice session. Another feature is its fully digital system that lets you adjust speed and height of the pitch using simple digital controls, which makes it very easy to use. Another outstanding feature is its safe design that includes no external moving parts that could be dangerous to use.

Because of these basic features, it has quickly become a favorite among users. Coaches prefer the Zooka ZS740 over other pitching machines because of its safety features with no dangerous spinning wheels and electrical cords running across the fields while parents love it for its ease of use, easy portability, sturdy built, and versatility. Check out our Zooka review.

5- ATEC Casey Pro 3G

Known as the most accurate, precise, and consistent pitching machines available out there, the ATEC Casey Pro is meant for serious players and teams who want to take their skills to the next level. This revolutionary, high performance, third generation machine is packed with enough power to throw balls from 30-100 mph. Yes, 100 miles per hour, which is around the fastest ball recorded in MLB history. With such great speeds, this top training equipment will provide a challenging day of practice to even the most top level team. In fact, the ATEC Casey Pro is the official pitching machine of Major League Baseball and is used everywhere by schools, colleges and big teams.

The machine touts a micro-adjustment feature for pin point control; this lets you adjust pitches in specific increments to let the players train for every pitch location in the strike zone. Position indicators lets you index pitch locations and changes and makes pin point control easy. The center of gravity design allows full 360 degree horizontal rotation and 120 degree vertical pivot that offers superior precision and makes it easy to throw every type of pitch imaginable.

The ATEC Casey Pro is simply the best built, most accurate and precise machine that offers you unparalleled ball control and options you can never find in any other machine available. Read the full review.

How to find the best pitching machine in 2019

Choosing a pitching machine is certainly not an easy thing. As you’ll see on this page the choice depends on many factors including its use (individual or team), price, customization (specific pitches, specific balls), and much more. Below we have provided a comparison table along with 5 reviews that represent a wide variety of the best pitching machines available today.

Whether you are a young player just developing hand-eye coordination or an experienced player playing in the big leagues, there is nothing more pleasurable than the crack of the bat as it strikes a speeding ball. But to master those skills to be consistently good with the bat requires time, energy and lots of practice. Investing in a good baseball pitching machine is highly recommended for developing and mastering those skills as it gives you more successful practice sessions without asking anyone to serve up quality pitches to you.

Design

Whether you are an amateur player just starting out or an experienced player trying to master your baseball skills, you will find a pitching machine well suited for your needs.

  • Wheel operated machines – Baseball pitching machines are mostly operated using single or dual wheels, which offer the benefit of adjusting the speed and direction of the pitch.
    • Dual Wheel: Dual wheel machines are more accurate and are meant for experienced and professional players. They offer superior precision, maximum ball control, excellent accuracy, fast speeds, and the ability to throw a wide range of pitch types.
    • Single wheel: Single wheels are sufficient for players between 5-15 years old. By offering variable speed control in a range of 10-60 mph, they let you work on your hitting techniques.
  • Compressed air machines – Compressed air machines use the power of compressed air to throw balls. These machines have no external moving parts and are usually touted by manufacturers for their safety. These are well suited for young players.

Power Source

best pitching machinesManual machines provide you the benefit of easy portability for games on the field. However, these machines only let you adjust pitch height and speed in a limited range, making it useful for minor leagues and young players.
Electricity operated machines offer you more precision, ball control, and a lot more options for pitch types. However, for on field power, the machine should be compatible with a battery pack or a generator. Some machines include a battery pack while others require you to buy it separately. If the machine requires you to buy a generator, make sure the recommended generator is available.

Balls

Make sure the machine is compatible with any type of baseball including regulation type leather balls. However, for youth leagues, make sure it is compatible with lighter practice balls as well.

Ball Speeds

Low speed machines are usually portable and extremely lightweight that can throw balls up to 10 mph to help a young child develop hand eye coordination and help him overcome the fear of being hit by the ball.

Medium speed machines are mostly used by Little Leagues and young players between the ages of 5-15 years. These machines simulate speeds from 10-60 mph.

High speed machines offer ball speeds from 30-100 mph, making them useful for experienced players who want to train for the big game.

Pitch Types

Make sure the machine you buy offers the particular pitch type you want, whether you want to train for fastballs, curveballs, or sliders.

Defensive Drills

While your main objective is to provide batting practice, consider the option of defensive training as well. Make sure the machine can easily adjust to simulate fly balls, line drives, and grounders for both infield and outfield practice. There should be a vertical pivot to easily adjust pitch height for defensive training.

Portability

A pitching machine has to be portable for you to be able to move it away for practice on the field. Make sure it is lightweight and has design features that make it easy to move around.

Control

Do you plan to use it alone or with a practice partner? If you want to enjoy solo practice, make sure the machine is compatible with an auto ball feeder and a remote control.

Brand

Make sure the machine comes from a trusted brand and includes a guarantee on parts. Overall, the pitching machine you choose should be able to give you a successful and more fruitful practice session and should help you improve your baseball skills. Above all, it should suffice your own needs.

Well there you have it, we hope that you have enjoyed all of our pitching machine reviews. As you can see determining a list of the greatest pitching machines is not easy but we have done our best to compile to top list available. We hope you have a great year swinging the bat!

ATEC Casey Pro 3G

The ATEC Casey Pro 3G is the official pitching machine of Major League Baseball and is used every day by every team in the big leagues, colleges, and high schools everywhere.

This third generation, revolutionized, high-performance training equipment is designed to simulate real game situations with enough power to throw fastballs up to 100 mph!

Featuring the micro-adjustment pin point control system, this machine is meant for those who know that subtle differences can make all the difference in a game. Whether you are an individual trying to get head and shoulders above your previous abilities or a team looking forward to take the next step, the Casey Pro 3G by ATEC is definitely made for you.

Main Features of the ATEC Casey Pro 3G

  • Dual concave wheel design for maximum ball control
  • Micro adjustment feature for pin point control
  • Center of gravity design for 360 degree horizontal rotation and 120 degree vertical pivot
  • Position indicators index pitch locations and changes
  • Speed range: 30-100 mph
  • Recovery time: 8 seconds
  • Weight: 110 lbs
  • Rollers for easy mobility
  • Power source: 110 V, generator use: 1200W generator

The ATEC Casey Pro tops the list of best baseball pitching machines and there is good reason for it.

Micro-adjusters for pin point control

The best feature that immediately sets the ATEC Casey Pro apart from other high performance machines is its state-of-the-art micro adjustment feature that gives you pin point control for every type of pitch. With these micro-adjusters, you can adjust pitches in specific increments to train the player for every type of pitch, accurately to each segment of the strike zone. Lock in the micro-adjuster to an exact location for repetitive training or mix it up for simulating real game situations.

The micro adjusters can be used to adjust height in a 36” range and horizontally in an 18” range. Just turn the knob and throw the pitch mere inches from your previous ball to master every real game possibility. Position indicators allow you to index pitch locations and changes and make pin point control easy.

Variable speed control

Packed with power that can throw balls with velocities as high as 110 mph, the ATEC Casey Pro is meant to “train you for play down”, which means your opponent’s #1 will look like #4. The fastest ball ever recorded in MLB history is 105 mph; hence, with faster than normal game speeds, this machine will make actual games seem easier and slower.

Throws every type of pitch imaginable

With micro-adjusters that lets you adjust pitch height in a 36” range and horizontally in an 18” range along with further precision created by a center-of-gravity design that can make the machine rotate 360 degrees horizontally and 120 degrees vertically, the machine can throw every type of pitch imaginable from fastballs and sliders to knuckleballs. The center of gravity design allows for easy switching between off speeds and breaking balls.

Great for practicing defensive drills

Hitting a breaking ball is only part of the game. The ATEC Casey Pro is not only meant for batting practice but is known as the top defensive training machine as well and can be easily converted to throw fly balls, grounders and pop-ups for infield and outfield drills. It will do extensive wall drills with each outfielder and then complete a full infield practice to make the team fully ready on game day.

Throws dimpled balls and real leather baseballs

The machine does not only work well with yellow dimpled balls but with real leather baseballs as well without causing any damage to the ball.

Pros

  1. It has high quality and sturdy built with powder coat finish that doesn’t make the machine rust easily and makes it last for a lifetime
  2. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty so you’ll be rest assured that your investment is safe.
  3. The machine comes with rollers that make it easy to move the machine, meaning you don’t have to carry it.
  4. Quick release legs makes it easy to move around.
  5. Micro-adjusters and position indicators make it very easy to control the ball and adjust pitch locations.
  6. It is compatible with an auto ball feeder and a remote control for solo practice.
  7. It can throw every type of pitch imaginable and can easily switch between off speeds and breaking balls.
  8. Its unique design doesn’t make it seem obvious what type of pitch is coming, hence it really challenges the players.
  9. Its ultra-fast head adjusters make it very quick and easy to adjust pitch locations, speeds, and types.
  10. It can be easily used on field with a 1200 W generator bought separately.

Cons

  1. It’s quite expensive and might be a lot more than an individual player can afford. The price shoots up even more with a generator for on-field power and laser sites to allow more precision and accuracy.
  2. Although it has speeds up to 100 mph, the ball gets really wild above 80 mph.

Summary

Simply put, no machine can be as precise, accurate, and consistent and gives you as many options as the ATEC Casey Pro 3G. This one is meant for serious players who really want to take their baseball skills to the next level. Although it’s pricey at $2,300, it is truly worth investing in. Plus, with lifetime warranty, your investment will be in safe hands.

Heater Pitching machine

Trend Sports is a not a new name when it comes to pitching machines and other sporting goods. The Heater Pitching Machine is one of the bestselling products of Trends Sports that lets you enjoy consistent, reliable, and accurate pitches at a very nominal price.

Give your child a more fruitful and successful practice session with the Heater Pitching Machine with Auto Ball Feeder included. Whether you are just learning how to hit and need to hone your swinging and hitting techniques or want to practice defensive skills in your backyard, the Heater Pitching Machine will truly deliver the best. Use it with a batting cage for repetitive solo training and learn how to hit like a pro.

Available for only $400, this one does deliver a punch. Plus, with the Auto ball feeder included free of cost, you can take your practice to the next level by not having to reply on another player or a parent to feed the machine. The Heater Pitching Machine will let you practice and play whenever you want.

Main features

  • 10 speed variations using simple variable speed dial to simulate speeds from 10-50 mph
  • Pitches regulation type leather baseballs, softballs and machine dimpled balls
  • Automatic 12 ball feeder included
  • Adjustable height for fly balls, pop ups, line drives, and grounders
  • Runs on 110v household current or 350-400 W generator
  • High quality steel housing with enclosed wheel

At a price point of $400, the Heater Pitching Machine is overloaded with features and benefits. The next sections that follow in our review look at these main features in more detail.

Throws real baseballs, softballs, or machine dimpled balls

Unlike other machines available at this price range, the Heater Pitching Machine can throw regulation type leather baseballs, which is a huge benefit for enjoying realistic practice sessions. If you want to give a fear free practice session to younger kids who are afraid of being hit by the ball, use the dimpled machine balls that are lighter. This makes it useful for indoors as well.

10 speed variable speed dial

The 10 speed variable speed dial lets you adjust speed from 10 to 50 mph. To increase the maximum speed, simply move the machine a little closer; this will help players get a little quicker in their swings. Because of the speed range of 10-50 mph, this machine is recommended for ages between 5 and 13 years old.

Solid steel housing

Heavy duty solid steel housing that fully encloses all moving parts for safe operation is made to last a long time. This is not a machine that could break easily.

Adjustable ball height

The ball height can be easily adjusted to throw fly balls, pop ups, line drives and grounders for fielding practice in your backyard. This makes it more versatile. There is no reason a young player cannot catch a fly ball; he just needs more practice and the Heater Pitching Machine will allow just that.

Free auto ball feeder for solo practice

Auto ball feeders are usually available separately for another 100 bucks or so; this shoots up the price really high. However, the Heater Pitching Machine comes with a bonus. At $400, you get both the machine and the ball feeder so you can practice whenever you want without waiting for another person to feed the machine. The ball feeder holds 12 balls at a time and throws a pitch every 12 seconds.

Pros

  1. It is durable and safe to use with no exposed moving parts. The rubber tire is fully enclosed.
  2. The auto feeder included is great for solo practice.
  3. It can throw regular leather as well as dimpled practice balls suitable for both older and younger players as well as indoor use.
  4. The pitches are quite accurate and consistent.
  5. It is very easy to adjust speed using the 10 speed variable speed dial.
  6. Setting it up and tearing it down is quite easy.
  7. It costs only $400.

Cons

  1. Most users have complained that it tears leather balls and makes them unusable after a few uses. While it works great for dimpled practice balls, it causes damage to leather balls.
  2. Top speed is 50 mph, (45 mph when real baseball is used) which is lower than other machines of its kind.
  3. Some users have also complained about its screw not tightening easily, which creates a slippage problem. The machine slips easily and doesn’t throw consistent and accurate pitches.
  4. Getting on-field power is a challenge as the machine is not compatible with a battery pack. A separate generator has to be purchased, which may be loud. Hence, it is best when used with a batting cage in the backyard.
  5. The machine doesn’t pitch curveballs and sliders.

Summary

Overall, the Heater Pitching Machine is a good buy considering that it only costs $400, includes an Auto Ball Feeder, and can throw real baseballs as well. I would recommend this machine for a young player who is just learning how to hit. Especially with the auto ball feeder included, this one will truly give you a fantastic practice session.

Jugs M600

With enough power to throw high speed fastballs up to 85 mph, a remarkable range of pitch types, and great versatility, the JUGS M600 Lite-Flite is meant to give you a fantastic day of practice, challenging you day in and day out. We certainly feel it deserves a spot in our list of the best pitching machines available.

This affordable, long lasting, and unique ball throwing machine is highly recommended if you want an equipment that gives you big-league type performance for a small price. Since it throws only Lite-Flite balls, the JUGS Lite-Flite is also made for those who want to overcome the fear factor of live pitching.

JUGS Sports is the #1 bestselling company of baseball pitching machines. Their products include highly advanced machines suitable for amateurs and professionals alike. The JUGS Lite-Flite is the most economical machine available in their range that throws big-league style pitches at a minor league price.

Feature overview

  • Throws JUGS Lite baseballs and softballs, and JUGS Bulldog baseballs and softballs
  • Throws a variety of pitch types including fastballs, curveballs, and sliders; pitch type can be adjusted using simple Select-A-Pitch™ knob
  • Swivel design base rotates 360 degrees and can be adjusted for fly balls, pop-ups and grounders
  • Runs on 1/8 horsepower, 1.3 amp motor; battery pack sold separately
  • Weighs 35 pounds
  • Compatible with an auto feeder

At a very nominal price of $395, the JUGS Lite-Flite Machine is loaded with features and benefits that truly make it the most worthwhile purchase you will make. In the sections that follow, our review takes a more detailed look at the main benefits.

Throws lighter baseballs and softballs

The JUGS Lite-Flite is especially designed to provide a fear-free practice with lighter balls. Since it throws lighter practice balls, it is not meant for a league game but that doesn’t mean it won’t prepare you for the BIGS. By throwing JUGS Lite-Flite baseballs and softballs and JUGS Bulldog baseballs and softballs, it prepares a player to hit a sharp-breaking pitch with confidence without the fear of getting hit.
The machine includes 4 samples balls and for a good practice session, it is recommended to buy a couple dozen balls that are available at a nominal price.

Select-A-Pitch™ Pitch Selection

It features a very simple Select-A-Pitch™ calibration along with the 360 degree swivel base design to change pitch types. It can throw left-handed or right handed, fastballs, curveballs and sliders. Because of this unbelievable range of pitch selection, this machine truly delivers to challenge you day in and day out.

Simple Speed Dial

The JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine simulates speeds from 15-85 mph, which can be easily adjusted using a simple speed dial. Adjusting speeds on a pitching machine has never been so easy!

Defensive drills

The swivel base design has a 360 degree pan, which can be adjusted to simulate fly balls, pop-ups, and grounders for fielding practice. This makes the machine more versatile and great for practicing defense in the backyard.

Electricity operated

The machine runs on 1/8 horsepower, 1.3 amp motor and 110AC V. However, for true portability, it is recommended to buy a separate battery pack so it can be taken away for games without the hassle of finding an electrical outlet. The battery is good for 3 hours of continuous usage and can be charged fully in 4 hours.

Quick change design features

Another feature that makes the Lite-Flite quite versatile is its quick change design feature that includes a switch-and-play knob for switching between baseball and softball in seconds.

Auto feeder for solo games

The machine is compatible with an auto feeder sold separately, which is recommended for solo practices.

Pros

  1. The machine can throw a variety of pitch types including fastballs, curveballs and sliders, which is a feature rarely found in machines available at this price range.
  2. It is excellent for use with younger kids who are afraid of being hit by the ball. It gives them an opportunity to hit sharp-breaking pitches without the fear of being hurt.
  3. Calibrating the machine for pitch type and adjusting for speed is extremely easy with simple instructions given.
  4. It takes only 3 or more pitches to get the pitch of your choice when you set it up for the first time. And once the settings are locked in, it will throw consistent and accurate pitches.
  5. Storing the machine is easy with durable storage bags provided.
  6. It throws great fly balls, pop ups and grounders for fielding practice.
  7. It is light weight for easy portability.
  8. The high quality design of the machine is built to last a long time.
  9. The machine comes with a 2 year guarantee on all parts.

Cons

  1. The biggest drawback is its inability to throw regular baseballs and softballs. Hence, it might limit its use for older players who need to practice with regular baseballs.
  2. Setting up the machine takes a little time. Expect to spend about 10-13 minutes on setting up.
  3. Although changing pitch type is easy, but it still requires time and the machine has to be re-calibrated all over again to get the ball within the strike zone.

Summary

Overall, this is a machine worth every penny. You will not find any other machine with the same feature set at this price. With its remarkable range of pitch types and really high ball speeds, this one is meant to give you a fantastic day of practice and will surely get you head and shoulders above your previous abilities and skill levels.

The JUGS Lite-Flite is highly recommended if you are looking for a high performance machine but can’t afford to pay a fortune for it.

Louisville UPM45

The Louisville Slugger UPM45 helps to overcome the biggest of all fears in young players; the fear of being hit by the ball. Now, with repetitive training with the UPM45, the ultimate training tool, you can give your child the joy of hitting the ball every time and an opportunity to overcome their fears and perfect their swinging techniques. It is touted as the ultimate tool of success by many parents and coaches.

The Louisville Slugger UPM45 is the Official pitching machine of the Babe Ruth League and Pony Baseball and Softball. It is also being used by many major and minor youth leagues in North America.

Designed for ages 6 and up, this pitching machine is the ideal training tool that helps batters and coaches enjoy a more successful and fruitful batting practice or a coach-pitch game.

Main Features included

  • Pitches all kinds of balls without causing any damage
  • Portable and compact; weighs only 25 pounds
  • Manually operated using spring tension; no batteries and electricity required
  • Easily adjustable pitch and speed
  • High quality, sturdy built; made to last a long time
  • Good for throwing accurate and consistent pitches, fly balls, and hard grounders

The UPM45 Blue Flame comes loaded with a plethora of features and benefits that all make it a highly recommended training tool. The next part of our review focuses on the features you can expect.

Best for ages 6 and up

With the speed range of 18-65 mph, the machine is best for ages 6 and up. It helps to overcome the fear factor of live pitching and allows the batter to concentrate on developing a proper swing path to the ball. It also saves your arm, as you no longer have to throw the ball down on the child trying to find their strike zone. By throwing reliable and consistent pitches, the child can easily predict the ball and work on his swinging and hitting technique.

Manual operation

One of the best features that sets the UPM45 apart from other machines is its manual operation. It requires no electricity or battery packs, which is a plus point for away games. Try searching for a power outlet on a local ball field and you would know how beneficial this feature is. It uses manual spring tension to throw pitches. The system is also very easy and simple to operate.

High quality, sturdy built

Most users who have used the UPM45 comment on its high quality, sturdy built. Users say that it doesn’t look easy to break and that they can easily expect many years out of it. The spring is good for 20,000 pitches and is available separately for replacement.

Light weight and portable

Another feature that makes the UPM45 a must have for parents and coaches is its light weight. It weighs only 25 pounds and can easily fit into the trunks of most cars. Hence, it is easy to move when going for batting practice.

Throws all types of balls

Unlike many other pitching machines including those advanced automatic ones that throw only a certain kind of ball, the UPM45 can throw any type of ball you put on it. This includes regulation type baseballs, softballs, wiffle balls, etc.

Throws a variety of pitches

The UPM45 is not just a pitching machine that throws level strikes but it is also great for throwing hard grounders and fly balls for fielding practice. The velocity and type of pitch can be easily adjusted using the spring lever and adjustment block given. It pitches balls at a speed range of 18-65 mph.

Easily adjustable and operated

It is so easy to operate that even a layman can use it. To pitch the ball, the coach has to put the ball on the arm and step down on the spring lever. The handle should then be released for the ball to strike. Speed and height can be easily adjusted using easy settings. The machine comes with a speed chart that illustrates how to adjust the spring lever for different speeds. Once the settings are adjusted, they are locked in with bolts and pins and you don’t need to re-calibrate them again during the game.

Pros

  1. It doesn’t require any electricity to operate which is a huge plus for away games.
  2. It is extremely light weight and can easily fit into the trunks of most cars.
  3. It doesn’t cause any damage to the ball and so any type of ball can be used. The small plastic balls that are mostly used in pitching machines do not give a real baseball experience. Hence, the ability to use any type of ball is a huge plus.
  4. It is very easy to operate and use. Adjustments are also very simple. The box comes with a user manual and easy instructions that will quickly help you get the hang of it. Just a few trial and errors and you will be able to get the pitch of your choice.
  5. It has a slight inaccuracy. Although that is a drawback caused by manual spring tension, many coaches consider it a plus point, as a real pitcher never throws a ball at the exact same point every time. Hence, it gives a more realistic experience.

Cons

  1. Balls are not always in the strike zone. It starts to creep out at times.
  2. The speed and height adjustments require a little fine tuning and might be hard to understand for the first time.
  3. The speed range for regular baseballs is between 18-45 mph, which might limit its use for experienced players.
  4. It is unable to throw curveballs and sliders.
  5. It is a little expensive, especially considering its manual operation.

Summary

Overall, the Louisville Slugger UPM45 is a highly recommended training tool for parents and coaches who are tired of trying to throw the ball in an already small strike zone of their kids. Plus, with reliable and consistent pitches that are almost always accurate, the machine gives a good opportunity for young players to perfect their hitting skills. Set it up before a game and your kid might even make a mark on everyone.

It is truly the best pitching machines of its kind.

Zooka ZS740

The next of our series of pitching machine reviews looks at the Zooka ZS740. It is a revolutionary machine that is truly first of its kind; first ever fully digital rechargeable pitching machine that earns 5 stars in portability and ease of use. No other pitching machine can be so easy to use than the Zooka ZS740 with its digital control panel for speed and height adjustments.

The Zooka ZS740 is a favorite among parents and coaches who want to throw reliable and consistent pitches to their kids for a more successful batting practice. Not only for batting practice, but this machine is also the ultimate training tool for infield and outfield drills.

Designed for ages between 4 and 18, this one is a must have for anyone who wants to take his baseball skills to the next level.

Main features of the Zooka ZS740

  • Throws real baseballs at over 65 mph
  • Throws a variety of balls including dimpled balls, wiffle balls, baseballs, softballs and tennis balls
  • Adjustable speed within a range of 10-65 mph using simple digital control panel
  • Digital speed readout
  • Battery powered; rechargeable battery good for 500 plus pitches
  • Throws consistent pitches, fly balls and grounders; great for batting practice, infield and outfield drills
  • An auto ball feeder available separately for solo games

The next sections of our Zooka ZS740 review are dedicated to providing more details on the features that make it an ideal training tool for young and older players alike.

Fully digital machine

Zooka ZS740 is the first ever fully digital pitching machine with a digital control panel that lets you control speed settings and even pre-program a practice sessions with multiple speeds and pitch locations. The digital control panel is extremely easy to use with simple up and down arrows for speed adjustments. Plus, it gives a digital speed readout as well.

No external moving parts

Unlike those pitching machines that include dangerous spinning wheels, the Zooka ZS740 includes no external moving parts. It is powered by an air compression system that kick starts when the ball is dropped in. The compressed air propels the internal cup that throws the ball out of the barrel.

Panning tripod for easy height and location adjustments

The Zooka ZS740 comes with a tall panning tripod that has a full 360 degree pan and a 43 inch pitch release height. This makes the machine more versatile and great for infield and outfield drills. By adjusting the pitch release height, you can throw really high fly balls that will go straight 12 stories into the air. Not only that, but you can use the panning feature to scatter balls around the field for fielding practice. Hence, it makes it useful for older players as well.

Rechargeable battery

The rechargeable battery makes the Zooka ZS740 a real portable machine. Just charge it at home and take it with you on the field. The battery is good for more than 500 pitches. It is the first of its kind pitching machine that can throw fastballs up to 65 mph on battery power. A separate battery pack can be purchased to extend battery life on the field.

Easy portability

Setting up the machine and tearing it down is literally a snap. It doesn’t require any special tools and can be set in as little as 2 minutes. The machine tears down in two parts very easily for easily portability. The machine weighs around 30 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around.

Throws a variety of balls

Unlike other pitching machines that can be used with plastic balls made for machine use, the Zooka ZS740 can throw any type of ball including regular baseballs, softballs, tennis balls and wiffle balls.

Throws a variety of pitches

The Zooka ZS740 can be easily adjusted for speed using the simple digital control panel. Speed can be adjusted within a range of 10-65 mph. Not only that, but you can also pre-program a practice with multiple speeds and pitch locations. This is the only machine available at this price that can throw computer controlled, random change-ups during the game. But that’s not all. The Zooka ZS740 is not just a pitching machine that throws consistent and reliable pitches, but it is great for throwing fly balls and hard grounders as well.

Pros

  1. Rechargeable battery makes it actually portable. Having no cords around the field to trip over is a huge plus.
  2. It includes no external moving parts and hence, is safe to use.
  3. Weighing around 30 pounds, it is extremely easy to carry around.
  4. The digital control panel makes it very easy to adjust speed and height.
  5. The ability to throw computer controlled random change-ups during the game makes the machine more usable for older players as well.
  6. It throws really HIGH fly balls, which is again good for older players.
  7. It has high quality, sturdy built and you can expect many years out of it.

Cons

  1. The machine does not throw real fastballs, as the balls have no backspin on them, which is what a naturally thrown fastball has. Some users commented that it throws curveballs and sinkers only, which are challenging to hit. One user named this problem as a design flaw. This limits its use for experienced baseball players.
  2. The pitches get inconsistent as the battery weakens during the game.
  3. There is a time lapse of 6-7 seconds between pitches, which might be frustrating for players and coaches.
  4. Storing the machine is hard, as it requires regular charges between uses to prevent the battery from weakening.
  5. The panning tripod makes the machine swivel around it and you need to re-position it again during games to prevent the balls from going out of zone.

Summary

Overall, the Zooka ZS740 is a highly recommended training tool if you want a machine that is safe, easy to use, portable, and above all, throws reliable and consistent pitches that can be as fast as 65 mph on battery power.