One of the best ways to practice your batting skills is by practicing your swing over and over again with a pitching machine.
When it comes to pitching machines the two best brands are Atec and Heater, and if you’re deciding which one to invest in, you’ll want to know what makes them different from each other.
Atec Pitching Machines
The Atec Pitching Machines come in a few varieties, which are suited for different skill levels, from teen to MLB pro.
If you’re using a pitching machine, you’ll need to use a different kind of baseball so that both your machine and the balls themselves don’t wear down as quickly.
Atec has a few sets of special balls designed to be used with their pitching machines, and these balls will keep your machine working properly and are easier to practice with.
Built-in Transport Wheels
Most pitching machines are stationary and are meant to be carried around if you want to reposition them.
However, some Atec machines, like the R2 and R3, have built-in wheels that make transporting the machine much easier.
Although these machines are more for defensive training, they’re still so much easier to move around.
Durable Steel Frame
If you’re going to be investing a lot of money into a pitching machine, you’ll want to be sure that it will last the test of time.
Atec pitching machines are made of incredibly durable steel and have a wide tripod base to absorb the regular wear and tear that your Atec machine will go through, ensuring that it works every time.
Quick Change Tilt System
One thing you’ll want to be able to do with your best pitching machine is changing the settings quickly on-the-fly.
Atec pitching machines have a quick change tilt system where you can easily change settings such as throwing hand and the rotational axis of the balls without messing around with complex settings.
Concave AI.H Wheels
For pitching machine accuracy, nothing has Atec pitching machines beat.
The concave wheels that launch the ball are designed in a way that they maximize pitching speed while still being accurate and precise.
These concave wheels also minimize the scuffing on your chosen balls.
Now, professional pitching machines are not going to run cheap.
Atec pitching machines are touted as the official pitching machine of the MLB, after all, and can cost as much as a few thousand bucks.
However, the build quality and materials of these machines will ensure that your Atec pitching machine will last a lifetime.
Currently, Atec is one of the most popular brands of professional pitching machines, due to it being endorsed as the official pitching machine of the MLB.
However, you might not see them around much due to their exorbitant prices.
However, they remain the most highly regarded pitching machines.
Heater Pitching Machines
Heater machines offer reliable performance at a price range that isn’t out of the ballpark.
Now, first off, Heater pitching machines are built solidly out of metal and rugged plastic.
While this may be a cause for concern for other machines, this is no problem for Heater pitching machines, as they stand the test of time.
Now, the Heater pitching machines may not be the most accurate machines on the market, but they deliver good, consistent pitches that can’t be beaten for the price.
You can use both regulation balls and training balls in a Heater machine, and it will perform the same with both of them.
Variable Speed Control
Heater pitching machines have a dial for speed that can be adjusted from 1 to 10, which translates to speeds from 30 MPH to 90 MPH. With Heater machines, the faster the ball launch, the less accurate the pitch itself is.
The ideal speed setting is at 6, which is a balance of speed and accuracy.
Some Heater machines, such as the Heater Sports Junior Baseball Pitching Machine, have a built-in carrying handle in the body of the machine itself.
These handles make it incredibly convenient for coaches and players to carry and set up Heater pitching machines.
Heater pitching machines are a budget-friendly option if you’re looking to buy a pitching machine but don’t have a huge budget.
With prices ranging from $300 to $600, Heater pitching machines are a great option for new baseball players or small teams that need some good practice at the bat.
Because of their price, Heater pitching machines are much more prevalent than Atec pitching machines, especially at lower levels, such as kids’ Little League teams or high school baseball teams.
Some aspiring coaches may also have a Heater machine in their garage, ready to train players, or just get a good warmup in.
If you’re looking for a pitching machine, there are plenty of options. As with any product, you should pick out one that best suits your needs.
If you’re looking to invest some serious coin into some of the best baseball swing trainers, then getting an Atec pitching machine is a no-brainer.
Atec machines are the gold standard for pitching machines, which is why they’re number one on the MLB’s list of trustworthy pitching machines. There’s really no substitute for their accuracy and performance.
However, if you’re looking to get started in baseball, or just don’t think a single pitching machine is worth thousands of dollars, then Heater machines may be a better fit for you.
Tough and reliable, you’ll be using a Heater machine for years to come, as long as you take care of it of course.
For our money, if you’re looking to invest some serious time behind the bat, there’s nothing quite as good as an Atec pitching machine.