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Thread: Fungo Man

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    Fungo Man

    Hey, My highschool coach is thinking about purchasing something called the "fungo man" that lets you shoot balls to any direction of the field at the touch of a button. The link is like fungoman.com. What do you guys think of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by baseballplaya92 View Post
    Hey, My highschool coach is thinking about purchasing something called the "fungo man" that lets you shoot balls to any direction of the field at the touch of a button. The link is like fungoman.com. What do you guys think of it?
    As a former coach who coached while in my 50's I think it's a great idea. Have you ever calculated the number of pitches or fungoes a coach does in one practice?

    We used a two wheel pitching machine. Better consistancy, better efficiency, and better instruction.
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    I think the thing is awesome for a multitude of reasons . . . but did you notice there's no online pricing?

    I emailed them and they came back with a quote of almost $14,000 . . . yep, all those zeros.

    Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of budget in our program to afford one, but if your coach/school can put together that kind to money . . . then I say, "by all means get one" . . . the 'Fungoman' would be a great addition to any program.

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    I saw the unit demo'ed at Superseries Nationals two years ago. You will need someone technically savvy in computers to use all its capabilities. I was impressed with the machine.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    I think the thing is awesome for a multitude of reasons . . . but did you notice there's no online pricing?

    I emailed them and they came back with a quote of almost $14,000 . . . yep, all those zeros.

    Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of budget in our program to afford one, but if your coach/school can put together that kind to money . . . then I say, "by all means get one" . . . the 'Fungoman' would be a great addition to any program.
    I use our ATEC Radius 270 for a lot of things besides BP and it cost just a hair under the 14K Mud was quoted....

    That said, if I had a money tree or a big school budget, I would think this would make a great addition to the practice routine....

  6. #6
    kk, thanks for the opinions =)

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    For $14,000, I will come hit all the fungos you want

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    How many of you guys do what the coach at our HS does? He has a couple of regular old wood fungo bats, but has drilled out the core from the barrel end. One stays at the field in the equipment locker, and the other stays in the equipment bag that goes to away games. I can’t say how much weight was removed, or how far into the bat they were drilled, but he says it made them definitely lighter, and believe me, he doesn’t allow just anyone to use them.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    The thing I think would be most useful with the fungoman is its ability to shoot ground balls and pop ups in exactly the same spots repeatedly. I think this would be great for tryouts and showcases, because you can give every player the exact same chances. I think it would be useful in practicing specific plays, like fly balls to the fence in the outfield, because the machine could consistently place balls in the same spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sid17 View Post
    The thing I think would be most useful with the fungoman is its ability to shoot ground balls and pop ups in exactly the same spots repeatedly. I think this would be great for tryouts and showcases, because you can give every player the exact same chances. I think it would be useful in practicing specific plays, like fly balls to the fence in the outfield, because the machine could consistently place balls in the same spot.
    Heck, we used to do that with our 2 wheel pitching machine back in 1997, and I guarantee it didn’t cost $14K. As a matter of fact, its still in the equipment locker, and as far as I know the only thing they ever had to do to it was replace the wheels once.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Heck, we used to do that with our 2 wheel pitching machine back in 1997, and I guarantee it didn’t cost $14K. As a matter of fact, its still in the equipment locker, and as far as I know the only thing they ever had to do to it was replace the wheels once.
    Nah, not the same as the Fungoman . . . it can throw one to the RC fence, then a 3-hop grounder to ss, then a 2-skip liner the the RF'er, then right back to the exact same spot at the RC fence . . . any combination/sequence you want and always to the EXACT same locations as programed.

    The way I understand it, you enter the field dimensions into it's "brain", set it on home plate and it puts the ball exactly where it's programed to throw it and from what elevation . . . moving from one area of the field to the other, without having to be manipulated by players or coaches.

    Now ya'll might have been good with those two-wheel pitching machines . . . but I know you weren't THAT good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    Now ya'll might have been good with those two-wheel pitching machines . . . but I know you weren't THAT good.
    Agree... I'd still be coaching with a machine like that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    Nah, not the same as the Fungoman . . . it can throw one to the RC fence, then a 3-hop grounder to ss, then a 2-skip liner the the RF'er, then right back to the exact same spot at the RC fence . . . any combination/sequence you want and always to the EXACT same locations as programed.

    The way I understand it, you enter the field dimensions into it's "brain", set it on home plate and it puts the ball exactly where it's programed to throw it and from what elevation . . . moving from one area of the field to the other, without having to be manipulated by players or coaches.

    Now ya'll might have been good with those two-wheel pitching machines . . . but I know you weren't THAT good.
    No doubt that it looks like a terrific product, but the question is, for whom? I sure don’t know of many HS’s or even colleges that would drop that kind of $$$$$$$$ for one, and for sure I don’t see any team or program at any level below HS getting one.

    Would the entire baseball world be better off if every team had a Fungoman? I think it would improve defenses tremendously. But then again, I ask myself why. It seems to me it would be because there would be more “reps” for the fielders, and if that’s the reason defenses would improve, then the problem is lazy coaches who won’t devote more time and energy to defense.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    No doubt that it looks like a terrific product, but the question is, for whom? I sure don’t know of many HS’s or even colleges that would drop that kind of $$$$$$$$ for one, and for sure I don’t see any team or program at any level below HS getting one.

    Would the entire baseball world be better off if every team had a Fungoman? I think it would improve defenses tremendously. But then again, I ask myself why. It seems to me it would be because there would be more “reps” for the fielders, and if that’s the reason defenses would improve, then the problem is lazy coaches who won’t devote more time and energy to defense.
    Wow, you sure know how to win friends and influence people . . . unless you are calling the "rofl" icon a disclaimer . . .

    SK, it's not the quantity of "gebs" the coaches hit, but rather the quality . . . if I want to mix-up ground balls to a position, I have to stop, reset the two-wheel deal, shoot a "test" ball or two and then continue. By that time, the kids already know where the ball is going, so like it or not, they're already reacting in their head to where the ball is headed, long before I ever put it in the shut . . . effectively letting them "cheat" their first-step, mechanics, and reaction time.

    Now there's always the possibility of hitting the ball to them to mix things up, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm just not THAT good with a fungo to put the ball exactly where I want it each and every time. Now I've "heard" of coaches who were supposedly that proficient, but to be honest, I've only really seen one, that I would consider to be at a level that could possibly be considered to coming close to matching the accuracy and randomness of the Fungoman, but that's it.

    Now I do agree with you that the cost is a bit prohibitive for most, but that was not the OP's question . . . so I'm still convinced that if a program can afford one, it would probably be one of the best investments training wise that they could make.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    Wow, you sure know how to win friends and influence people . . . unless you are calling the "rofl" icon a disclaimer . . .

    SK, it's not the quantity of "gebs" the coaches hit, but rather the quality . . . if I want to mix-up ground balls to a position, I have to stop, reset the two-wheel deal, shoot a "test" ball or two and then continue. By that time, the kids already know where the ball is going, so like it or not, they're already reacting in their head to where the ball is headed, long before I ever put it in the shut . . . effectively letting them "cheat" their first-step, mechanics, and reaction time.

    Now there's always the possibility of hitting the ball to them to mix things up, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm just not THAT good with a fungo to put the ball exactly where I want it each and every time. Now I've "heard" of coaches who were supposedly that proficient, but to be honest, I've only really seen one, that I would consider to be at a level that could possibly be considered to coming close to matching the accuracy and randomness of the Fungoman, but that's it.

    Now I do agree with you that the cost is a bit prohibitive for most, but that was not the OP's question . . . so I'm still convinced that if a program can afford one, it would probably be one of the best investments training wise that they could make.

    I am going to get one as soon as I pay off my golf cart....


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    Man, if your HS program has that kind of money, WOW. We're worried about having enough money to keep the field looking decent. I actually have to spend my own money on Turface and clay.

    We get about a whopping $500 budget. The rest we have to raise.

    Football program on the other hand has one of the nicest state of the art facilities. Hmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    . . .SK, it's not the quantity of "gebs" the coaches hit, but rather the quality . . . if I want to mix-up ground balls to a position, I have to stop, reset the two-wheel deal, shoot a "test" ball or two and then continue. By that time, the kids already know where the ball is going, so like it or not, they're already reacting in their head to where the ball is headed, long before I ever put it in the shut . . . effectively letting them "cheat" their first-step, mechanics, and reaction time.

    Now there's always the possibility of hitting the ball to them to mix things up, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm just not THAT good with a fungo to put the ball exactly where I want it each and every time. Now I've "heard" of coaches who were supposedly that proficient, but to be honest, I've only really seen one, that I would consider to be at a level that could possibly be considered to coming close to matching the accuracy and randomness of the Fungoman, but that's it.

    Now I do agree with you that the cost is a bit prohibitive for most, but that was not the OP's question . . . so I'm still convinced that if a program can afford one, it would probably be one of the best investments training wise that they could make.
    It appears that you’re far more into this thing than I intended to get. I was just making mention that it was pretty easy to use a pitching machine to shoot balls to the fielders for practices and things like tryouts. What you seem to be talking about is using the fungoman to completely replace coaches hitting balls for defense. In that sense, I bow to you. Between using a fungo bat, a pitching machine and a Fungoman, the Fungoman wins hands down.

    As far as whether it would be a great investment, providing the program could afford it, I thought I pretty much said the same thing. But heck, I’m the guy who wants Pitch and Hit(f/x) cameras and computers at every field. But the truth is, I’d bet not even 10% of our HS fields here have lights, for sure there are a fair number without scoreboards, dang few have systems for announcing games, and even more important, its really rare to find clean toilet facilities within 200-300 yards of the field, and most could sure use a complete overhaul of at least the infield.

    Given the possible places $14,000 could be spent in a HS baseball program, I suppose a very good argument could be made for a Fungoman, but so could an argument for a few other things too. I think a lot of how one looks at a thread like this, depends on the program. Ours has only been around 5 years and we’re still trying to figure out how to get bleachers. Others have been around for much longer and have many of the nice bells and whistles other programs are trying to find a way to get.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Given the possible places $14,000 could be spent in a HS baseball program, I suppose a very good argument could be made for a Fungoman, but so could an argument for a few other things too. I think a lot of how one looks at a thread like this, depends on the program. Ours has only been around 5 years and we’re still trying to figure out how to get bleachers. Others have been around for much longer and have many of the nice bells and whistles other programs are trying to find a way to get.
    I guess it all boils down to which side of the fence you're on, when one is prioritizing their wish list . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    I guess it all boils down to which side of the fence you're on, when one is prioritizing their wish list . . .
    That about covers it. But what also has to be considered is, the perspective of the person making those prioritizations. I’m pretty sure the male parents and other fans who come to our field would make getting bleachers the #1 priority, and very likely lights would run a close 2nd. The females would definitely go for clean restrooms. Very likely our HC would vote for a sand pro bunker rake or triplex mower for the infields as #s 1 and 2 because that’s where he spends so much time. Personally, I’d make getting a covered, raised scoring table about 10’ off the ground and dead behind the plate as my #1, with the restrooms as #2.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    That about covers it. But what also has to be considered is, the perspective of the person making those prioritizations. I’m pretty sure the male parents and other fans who come to our field would make getting bleachers the #1 priority, and very likely lights would run a close 2nd. The females would definitely go for clean restrooms. Very likely our HC would vote for a sand pro bunker rake or triplex mower for the infields as #s 1 and 2 because that’s where he spends so much time. Personally, I’d make getting a covered, raised scoring table about 10’ off the ground and dead behind the plate as my #1, with the restrooms as #2.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Would the entire baseball world be better off if every team had a Fungoman? I think it would improve defenses tremendously. But then again, I ask myself why. It seems to me it would be because there would be more “reps” for the fielders, and if that’s the reason defenses would improve, then the problem is lazy coaches who won’t devote more time and energy to defense.
    I couple of negative thoughts, just to be contrary.

    1. I'd imagine that it would take a far amount of trial and error to get each grounder and fly ball exactly the way you want, so fielders are going to stand around some anyway.

    2. I don't care if the thing was made by NASA, you will have differences between one 'hit' to the next, due to differences in the seams of the balls, wind conditions, machine vibration, etc.

    3. It doesn't indicate that you can put "English" on a ball to stimulate a slicing or hooking fly ball - you can do that with a wheeled pitching machine, or with an accomplished fungo coach.

    4. Judging distance in part by the sound off the bat -- doesn't happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    I couple of negative thoughts, just to be contrary.

    1. I'd imagine that it would take a far amount of trial and error to get each grounder and fly ball exactly the way you want, so fielders are going to stand around some anyway.

    ...

    3. It doesn't indicate that you can put "English" on a ball to stimulate a slicing or hooking fly ball - you can do that with a wheeled pitching machine, or with an accomplished fungo coach.

    ...
    Ursa, the coach can manipulate the machine through a handheld PDA / Computer. You tap on the screen to indicate the actual ball location and the machine adjusts to bring the ball closer to the desired target. The machine converges on the desired solution within a pitch or two.

    The machine is a computer run two-wheel. It will put "English" or "Slice" on the ball if desired by the operator.

    I agree w/ your points 2 & 4.

    The only ones I know that can afford this machine are D1 and pro-level programs.

  23. #23
    GFK, thanks for the further information -- does your son's program use it? I went to the web site and both watched most of the video and looked around for some explanations, and those features did not come through at all.

    As for those machines being only affordable to D1 and pro-programs -- that's probably all for the good. I can only imagine what happens on a HS team when the coach -- as will happen -- lets one of the players get his hands on the controls. "Let's see what happens when Justin gets a 100 MPH rope that lands three feet in front of him with top spin! [evil laugh]"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    -- does your son's program use it? ---
    No, for some reason my wife will not let me purchase one

    I did see an on-the-field demo at a Superseries Nationals event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFK View Post
    The only ones I know that can afford this machine are D1 and pro-level programs.
    I belive Cheiftain20 (a highscool player on this forum) has stated that his school has a Fungoman. MBN (Must Be Nice)

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