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Pitching machine, how to use it wisely?

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  • Pitching machine, how to use it wisely?

    I heard a lot of pros and cons using pitching machine for batting practices. I bought one anyway since I can't throw BP to my son. Any suggestions how to use it wisely to get most out of it? Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by switchhitter; 10-29-2018, 09:04 AM.

  • #2
    Make sure they stride, and coil inward. Otherwise it will ruin them.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Like song says, they're fine if you use them correctly, and that you remember the hitter is going to use the same mechanics while hitting off the machine that they'll use in the game. I bought, and used one for years for the same reason you did...I had/have a bad wing, and can't throw but maybe one round of BP before I've got a dead arm hanging from my shoulder.

      But to give the hitter a sense of timing, I would hold a ball next to the feeder tube with my off-hand, and a ball in my pitching/throwing hand, simulate a windup/throwing motion, and as my "throwing hand came forward to almost the point I was holding the other ball near the tube...I'd flick the ball into the machine with my fingers, so as to make it appear that it came out of my "pitching" hand.

      No, not perfect, but it never seemed to negatively effect any of my hitters, and as song stated...they were all able to time a "stride, and coil inward" off of that type of motion, rather than just standing with a ball raised above the machine with a straight arm, and then simply lowering it into the machine as I see most other doing when using a machine,,,and the hitter really has no time to stride, and coil prior to the sudden lowering of the arm, and ball on the way.

      Good luck, hope that helps,
      mud -
      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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      • #4
        Which machine? Which model?
        Major Figure

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        • #5
          Originally posted by songtitle View Post
          Make sure they stride, and coil inward. Otherwise it will ruin them.
          Thank you! Yes he does his load/stride

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
            Like song says, they're fine if you use them correctly, and that you remember the hitter is going to use the same mechanics while hitting off the machine that they'll use in the game. I bought, and used one for years for the same reason you did...I had/have a bad wing, and can't throw but maybe one round of BP before I've got a dead arm hanging from my shoulder.

            But to give the hitter a sense of timing, I would hold a ball next to the feeder tube with my off-hand, and a ball in my pitching/throwing hand, simulate a windup/throwing motion, and as my "throwing hand came forward to almost the point I was holding the other ball near the tube...I'd flick the ball into the machine with my fingers, so as to make it appear that it came out of my "pitching" hand.

            No, not perfect, but it never seemed to negatively effect any of my hitters, and as song stated...they were all able to time a "stride, and coil inward" off of that type of motion, rather than just standing with a ball raised above the machine with a straight arm, and then simply lowering it into the machine as I see most other doing when using a machine,,,and the hitter really has no time to stride, and coil prior to the sudden lowering of the arm, and ball on the way.

            Good luck, hope that helps,
            mud -
            Thanks for the detailed suggestion! I just raise my arm and when he is ready, put the ball in. Will try your way next time.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by omg View Post
              Which machine? Which model?
              Yeti. Mound Yeti 2

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              • #8
                The mistake I see some kids making is timing pitches rather than taking a natural swing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by switchhitter View Post

                  Yeti. Mound Yeti 2
                  Ok, it looks good enough. The machine is a great tool but it's a tool. The advantages are that you can put it at regulation distance and you can train against velocity and breaking pitches. Like the others said make sure you do a really good and consistent job of feeding. You can't fumble around at all or just wily-nily it. So spend a lot of time and effort on that because most guys stink at it- they don't really understand hitting. You may not be a big fan of bunting but bunting is tracking. It also negates the timing aspect which can be tough. Bunting will be hard from the "new" side- takes a long time to get it right (as does getting out of the box if the new side is lefty). In order to not get tired you can have him swing at 5 or 10 and then bunt 5. Tracking- just standing there and watching pitches is also very worthwhile. You can do a drill, take-hit, in which he watches a pitch then swings at the next one or some variation of that. The others said load and stride, which is fine, you certainly want to do your share of that but I also think going no-stride is good off the machine. The hitter doesn't take a step but mostly just does a hand load- this makes it a little easier to hit the ball that is just shooting out from the wheels. Another similar drill that JD Martinez does is to concrete feet, i.e., keep both feet completely flat, take the legs somewhat out of it, and work on just bat path with the upper body. Lastly work on that velocity when he's ready and especially the curves. Most kids have a lot of fun hitting curves off the machine after a while.
                  Major Figure

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
                    The mistake I see some kids making is timing pitches rather than taking a natural swing.
                    Thanks. So far he is ok.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by omg View Post

                      Ok, it looks good enough. The machine is a great tool but it's a tool. The advantages are that you can put it at regulation distance and you can train against velocity and breaking pitches. Like the others said make sure you do a really good and consistent job of feeding. You can't fumble around at all or just wily-nily it. So spend a lot of time and effort on that because most guys stink at it- they don't really understand hitting. You may not be a big fan of bunting but bunting is tracking. It also negates the timing aspect which can be tough. Bunting will be hard from the "new" side- takes a long time to get it right (as does getting out of the box if the new side is lefty). In order to not get tired you can have him swing at 5 or 10 and then bunt 5. Tracking- just standing there and watching pitches is also very worthwhile. You can do a drill, take-hit, in which he watches a pitch then swings at the next one or some variation of that. The others said load and stride, which is fine, you certainly want to do your share of that but I also think going no-stride is good off the machine. The hitter doesn't take a step but mostly just does a hand load- this makes it a little easier to hit the ball that is just shooting out from the wheels. Another similar drill that JD Martinez does is to concrete feet, i.e., keep both feet completely flat, take the legs somewhat out of it, and work on just bat path with the upper body. Lastly work on that velocity when he's ready and especially the curves. Most kids have a lot of fun hitting curves off the machine after a while.
                      Thanks, he usually watch machine pitch a few, bunt a few then hit. His biggest problem is fear of being hit. Once he is sure the ball will not hit him, he did really well. For the first time he hit 2 out of the 180 fence, a lot of one or two bouncers to fence. Will start with the curve balls soon.

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                      • #12
                        I remember reading somewhere about how Minnesota Twins top prospect, Alex Kirilloff, got the majority of his youth practice reps off a machine at his Dad's facility. He's doing very well. It certainly didn't hurt his development growing up in a cold weather state.

                        I picked up the new Jugs BP3 pitching machine this past summer, and love it! It has a built in change up feature that it pitches at random, which solves some of the speed predictability issues that many have with most machines.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Giode View Post
                          I remember reading somewhere about how Minnesota Twins top prospect, Alex Kirilloff, got the majority of his youth practice reps off a machine at his Dad's facility. He's doing very well. It certainly didn't hurt his development growing up in a cold weather state.

                          I picked up the new Jugs BP3 pitching machine this past summer, and love it! It has a built in change up feature that it pitches at random, which solves some of the speed predictability issues that many have with most machines.
                          I read that Ichiro did same thing.

                          Your pitching machine is very nice!

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                          • #14
                            Tried curve ball today. He had problem for the first 10+ pitches, when he is used to the pitch, he crushed the balls. Hitting good both righy and lefty.

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                            • #15
                              When you are in a cage, make sure you are hitting the ball OVER the L screen. That's only 5-10 deg launch angle depending on position. You don't want to PRACTICE hitting the ball into the ground, or level (which has max 50 ft distance)
                              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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