Are pitching machines good for batting practice | Explained

With pitching machines on the rise as an alternative to human pitchers, the question arises, are pitching machines good for batting practice? In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using pitching machines for batting practice.

Advantages of using pitching machine for batting practice

Consistent delivery: A pitching machine can deliver the ball consistently at the same speed, direction, and height every time, which can help with predicting and improving the timing of swings. With adjustable machine settings, players can also work on hitting different types of pitches without the need for a human pitcher.

Increase repetitions: Pitching machines can deliver 600-800 pitches an hour, which allows a player to practice multiple swings in a short amount of time. More repetitions may lead to better muscle memory and overall improvement.

Increased safety: A common concern with a human pitcher is the risk of injury due to wild pitches or fatigue. Pitching machines virtually eliminate the risk of injury, making it safer for the batter to focus on technique.

Disadvantages of using pitching machine for batting practice

Limited adaptability: A pitching machine can only deliver accurate straight balls, which is not the case in real games. Human pitchers change ball curves, trajectory, and speed which can create an irregular experience for batters. If a player relies solely on a machine for batting practice, it may not provide the same experience and allow for necessary adjustments during actual games.

Stagnation: While pitching machines can help with repetition, they also lend themselves to stagnation. Players may only have consistent swings and the lack of variation in pitches may make it harder to adjust to different game scenarios.

Cost: Pitching machines can be expensive, anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. While it can be a valuable investment for many teams, it’s not always within a team’s budget.

Do Pitching Machines used in training?

When it comes to professional baseball, there are few things more important than pitching. The ability to throw consistently and accurately can make the difference between a winning season and a losing one, so it’s no surprise that players and coaches are constantly on the lookout for new tools and techniques to improve their skills. One such tool that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is the pitching machine. 

Firstly, it’s important to note that while pitching machines are often used in training at all levels of baseball, they are not typically used during actual games. This is because pitching machines are not capable of replicating the many different variables that a real pitcher can introduce into their throws, such as varying speeds and pitches. That being said, pitching machines still have a valuable role to play in professional baseball.

One way that pitchers use pitching machines is to work on their accuracy and consistency. By setting the machine to throw at a specific speed and angle, pitchers can practice hitting a particular spot on the plate over and over again until they can do it perfectly every time. This kind of repetition is key to building muscle memory and honing a particular pitch, and it can be difficult to achieve in a live game situation.

Another way that pitching machines can be used in professional baseball is to simulate different game scenarios. For example, if a pitcher is struggling against a particular kind of batter, a coach may set the machine to throw pitches that match that batter’s strengths, allowing the pitcher to practice facing that type of opponent in a controlled environment.

Of course, it’s worth noting that not all pitchers rely on pitching machines to improve their skills. Some may prefer to practice against live batters, which allows them to work on their reaction time and adaptability in a way that a machine cannot replicate. However, pitching machines can still be a useful tool for those looking to refine their technique and build consistency in their throwing.


While pitching machines have their advantages, they also have some drawbacks. Their consistent delivery, ability to deliver multiple repetitions, and increased safety are all benefits, yet they are limited in adaptability, can lead to stagnation, and can be expensive.

It’s important to find balance when using a pitching machine while keeping in mind that batting practice can be a combination of both human pitchers and pitching machines. A well-rounded approach to batting practice may be more beneficial in the long run, as it can help prepare players for the unpredictability of a real game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do MLB players use pitching machines? 

The answer is yes, but not as a substitute for live pitching. Instead, pitching machines are most commonly used as a training tool to help pitchers improve their accuracy and work on specific skills. Whether or not a particular pitcher chooses to incorporate a pitching machine into their training regimen will depend on a variety of factors, including their personal preferences and the advice of their coaching staff. 

Q. Do pitchers practice batting?

Participating in batting practice presents the perfect chance for pitchers to fortify their skill set and self-assurance to throw strikes and master pitches. It’s rare for any coach to leave batting practice off the schedule, and it should be the same for pitching practice.

Q. Why is pitching harder than hitting?

Elite-level hitting mechanics involve starting and stopping various body segments in sequence. However, pitching mechanics differ as the body doesn’t pause between movements of body segments.

Q. What are the hardest pitches to hit?

The most challenging pitches to hit are the splitter and slider. Hitting a baseball is an incredibly daunting task, mostly due to the varying speed, movement, and breaking point of pitches.

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