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First Pitch XL Pitching Machine

  • Mike C. 
  • 9 min read
First Pitch XL Pitching Machine
The First Pitch XL is a top-end, single-wheel pitching machines. In fact, First Pitch manufacturers the only two single-wheel pitching machines that throw up to 80 MPH. Many pitching machines in the same price range only have the horsepower to throw up to 60 or 70 MPH. That is not the case with the First Pitch XL. It comes with a 1/3 HP motor that gives it the power to throw some heat.
80 MPH Fastballs

The First Pitch XL is unique in that it is the only commercial grade machine that throws up to 80 MPH priced under $1,000. Many pitching machines in the same price range have speeds topping out at 60-70 MPH.

A dial controls the machine’s speed. The dial allows you to set the speed anywhere between 0 and 80 MPH. 

Commercial Quality
First Pitch Machines are all made with a steel frame, steel legs, and steel chutes. First Pitch backs all their machines with a 5-year warranty because they trust their product can handle the wear and tear. The machine comes with a 1/3 HP motor. Many of the competition’s options in this price range come with a ¼ HP motor.
Easy to Transport
First Pitch made the XL easy to transport. The legs go on and come off in a matter of seconds making it easy for you to break the machine down to carry. The head of the pitching machine has a handle. First Pitch’s lightweight design makes the XL one of the easiest single wheel machines to transport.
Combo Pitching Machine
Most pitching machines you pay extra when you need it to be able to pitch both baseballs and softballs. The XL comes standard as baseball/softball combo pitching machine.
Doubles as a Defensive Machine

The XL comes on a 360-degree swivel. A 360-degree swivel allows you to pitch balls down the first baseline and within seconds pitch a ball down the third base line. An adjustment from one side of the field to the other is seamless. First Pitch’s XL machine also has a large vertical range of motion. This allows the machine to pitch line drives, pop-ups, and groundballs.

Made in USA/Strong Warranty
Maple Plain, Minnesota is the home of First Pitch’s warehouse. They build their machines in house at their Minnesota warehouse. Their parts also come from U.S. manufacturers. First Pitch believes in their products, which is why they back their machines with a 5-year warranty for teams, leagues, schools, and residential use.

Comparable Machines

The top end speed of 80 MPH allows young hitters to grow with the machine. With there being so many pitching machine options, are there any alternatives that match up well with the First Pitch XL? Below we breakdown the pros and cons of the First Pitch XL compared to similarly priced machines.
First Pitch XL vs JUGS BP1
  • Speed – As mentioned above the XL Pitching Machine throws up to 80 MPH. The BP1 is not too far behind, being able to throw up to 70 MPH. The 10 MPH difference is key for advanced little league players and players moving up through middle school and high school.
  • Durability – Both machines have many similarities when it comes to durability. Each machine comes equipped with the large pneumatic tire. XL Pitching Machines have the advantage over the BP1 when it comes to the motor. The XL has a 1/3 HP motor compared to the ¼ HP motor that comes with the BP1.
  • Functionality – The BP1 and XL are great for hitting and fielding exercises. Both have a 360-degree range of motion which allows for fielding drills all over the diamond. The machines are limited in the fact that neither can throw breaking pitches. They strictly throw fastballs and changeups. BP1 Pitching Machine have a slight advantage because  of the digital readout. You will see the exact speed of the pitch based on the position of the dial. First Pitch’s XL comes with the same dial speed controller but does not have the digital readout capabilities. The XL comes standard as a baseball-softball combo pitching machine. You will have the option to upgrade the BP1 to a combo machine but it will cost you extra.
  • Warranty – Both machines come with a 5-year warranty. The only difference in the warranties is that the XL’s warranty defaults to a 1-year warranty when being used by baseball academies. Baseball teams, leagues, schools, and residential use all qualify for First Pitch’s 5-year warranty.
  • Price – The price of the JUGS BP1 has climbed in recent years, partially due to the coronavirus. The First Pitch XL and BP1 used to be in the same price range. Now, the First Pitch XL is over $400 cheaper than the BP1. With the XL priced right under $1,000, it is a great deal compared to the BP1.
First Pitch XL vs. BATA B-1 Curveball
  • Speed – The B-1 Curveball, like the JUGS BP1, throws up to 70 MPH. As mentioned above, the 10 MPH speed difference is important for advanced younger players and players approaching high school.
  • Durability – The XL and B-1 Curveball are made with steel parts. Steel ensures that the machines are durable and can handle line drives hit back at the machine. The two big differences between the machines are the casing around the wheel and the wheel itself. BATA’s B-1 Curveball has a steel casing around the wheel which provides as a safety measure for kids but also serves as a protector against balls hitting the wheel. B-1 Curve Machines come with a Goodyear Soft Tread Wheel. The Soft Tread Wheel is durable compared to the competition and provides prolonged accuracy (less wear and tear).
  • Functionality – If you are looking for a machine that will work great for defensive drills, then the First Pitch XL is the way to go. It has the 360-degree swivel and will throw pop-ups, line drives, and grounders. The B-1 Curveball is more of an offensive machine and does not have the same defensive capabilities. However, the BATA B-1 is one of the few single wheel machines that can throw breaking pitches. The machine head can be tilted to the right or left to simulate a curveball.
  • Warranty – BATA offers an unmatched 10-year warranty. The 5-year warranty on the XL is solid as well in the pitching machine industry.
  • Price – The XL is typically around $200 less than the B-1 Curveball. If you are needing the B-1 Curveball to throw both baseballs and softballs, then the price difference will be more like $250.

First Pitch XL FAQ

Q: What age group is the First Pitch XL best suited for?

A: The lower price point on the XL compared to similar machines makes it enticing for all age groups up through high school. Many parents want to find a machine that will grow with their young ballplayer and the XL meets those needs. The XL being able to throw up to 80 MPH allows middle school and high school ballplayers to benefit from practicing off the machine.

Q: Is the machine suitable for my middle school/high school team?

A: The machine will work great for middle school and high school. First Pitch makes a commercial grade machine at a residential price. The XL is great for schools with a small budget. Throwing up to 80 MPH will give the team the practice they need while in the batting cage or out on the field. The lone downside is the XL does not throw breaking pitches.

Q: Can the XL throw real baseballs and softballs?

A: Yes, the First Pitch XL will throw real leather baseball and softballs. We recommend using relatively new baseballs and softballs. Older balls will not be as accurate if they have worn down seams.

Q: The machine says it comes with a 5-year warranty but only a year for commercial use. What does this mean?

A: First Pitch defines commercial use as use by a training facility or batting cage facility. Schools, leagues, teams, and residential use qualify for the 5-year warranty.

Q: Are there two sets of legs that come with the machine? One for baseball and one for softball?
A: No, the machine only comes with one set of the legs. The legs are easily adjustable with a pin mechanism allowing you to choose between three separate leg height options. The legs should be set at the tallest option for baseball use, as this simulates an overhand pitch. They should set be set at the lowest point for softball. This will simulate an underhand softball pitch.
First Pitch XL Softball Pitching Machine

Q: How long does it take to transition the machine from baseball to softball and vice versa?

A: Adjusting the legs of the machine from one height to another takes only a few seconds. You will also need to switch the baseball chute out for the softball chute. This takes about a minute. We highly recommend switching to the baseball chute when using for baseball as this will ensure the accuracy of the machine.

Q: What type of generator does the machine need?

A: The XL will run off a 1000w or greater generator.

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