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Frequently Asked Pitching Machine Questions

  • Mike C. 
  • 6 min read
Pitching Machine Questions

Can the pitching machines throw real baseballs and softballs?

Yes, most pitching machines throw real baseballs and/or softballs. Every pitching machine from ATEC, BATA, Heater, First Pitch, JUGS, and Sports Attack will throw real balls.

Will baseballs/softballs wear down going through the pitching machine?

Yes, being shot through the pitching machine and being hit repeatedly will put some wear and tear on the balls. The machines and their wheels have been upgraded over time to put less stress on the balls.

What type of balls do you recommend for the pitching machine?
There is nothing better than using the real baseballs and softballs. However, it can be costly to run through the real balls. The dimpled balls are nearly indestructible and can take the abuse of being hit repeatedly. In my opinion, use the dimpled balls while in the batting cage and the real balls when on the field.
Dimpled Baseballs

Can the softball pitching machines pitch 11” and 12” softballs?

Yes, all the pitching machines that are designed to throw softballs are able to throw both 11” and 12”. Most softball pitching machines come with one chute that allows you to throw both. However, there are some machines that have a pitching machine chute specifically designed for one or the other (you will see this as an option under the machine).

How easy is it to adjust the pitching machine’s speed?

Quite easy. The pitching machines all have a dial that makes it easy to adjust the speed of the pitching machine.

What is the difference between a one-wheel and two-wheel pitching machine?
There are two main differences between one-wheel and two-wheel machines. The first is the speed. Most two-wheel machines can pitch upwards of 90-100 MPH. One-wheel machines typically top out at 60-80 MPH. The other big difference is the pitch selection. Most one-wheel machines are only able to throw fastballs and changeups.
ATEC Pitching Machine
There are few options, like the BATA B-1 Curve, that allows you to throw breaking pitches. With a two-wheel pitching machine you will be able to have it throw multiple different breaking pitches.

Is a breaking pitch from a one-wheel machine any different than a breaking pitch from a two-wheel machine?

Yes. A one-wheel pitching machine’s breaking pitches are created from the angle of the pitching machine. A two-wheel machine throws breaking pitches based on the wheels being set at different speeds. A two-wheel pitching machine creates a lot more spin and break.

Can you transport the pitching machines on their wheels?

We do not recommend transporting the pitching machines on their wheels.

Can you leave the pitching machines outside?

Yes, but only if you cover it. Most pitching machines offer a pitching machine cover as an option. If you are planning to leave the machine outside, we recommend that you invest in a cover.

How easy are the pitching machines to transport?
This depends on the machine that you purchase. With every machine we recommend you take the legs off the machine before transporting. Most single wheel pitching machines are easily transported with one adult. However, as you get into the two and three-wheel machines they become bulky and more difficult to move with one person. Some of the pitching machines offer a transport kit or cart that will make it a lot easier to move your machine.
BP1 Pitching Machine Transport cart

How long does it take to put the machine together?

Only a few minutes. The machines come mainly pre-assembled. All you will have to do is put the legs in and you will be ready to go.

What do you mean by wheel recovery? What is the wheel recovery time after a pitch?

The wheel recovery is how long the wheel takes to get back up to the original speed you have the machine set at after each pitch. The wheel recovery varies from machine to machine. Typically, the recovery time is between 2 and 8 seconds.

For the combo pitching machines, how long does it take to convert the machine from softball to baseball?

Only a few minutes. All it takes to switch between baseball and softball is change the legs and the chute. All combo pitching machines will come with a set of baseball legs, a set of softball legs, a baseball chute, and a softball chute.

Are the pitching machines battery powered or electric?

They all run on electricity. We recommend using a generator if you are going to be using the machine in a spot without electricity.

What generator do you recommend using for the pitching machine?

We recommend using a 1000-watt (or greater) generator.

What maintenance is required for the machine?

There is not a whole lot of maintenance you will have to do on your machine. We recommend periodically cleaning the wheels. You can use some sandpaper to remove the scuff marks on the wheels.

What is an automatic ball feeder? Is it necessary?

An automatic ball feeder is an accessory that you can add to your machine. It allows you to setup the machine to throw pitches without needing someone feeding the machine manually. The ball feeder is not needed, however, it is perfect if you are looking to do single batting practice.

What is the warranty on each pitching machine?

The warranty varies from each manufacturer. The majority of machines comes with a 5-10 year warranty. We only carry the pitching machine brands that stick by and believe in the durability of their products. You can see each pitching machine’s warranty under the individual pitching machine’s page.

How slow can each pitching machine pitch?

Each pitching machine goes down to between 0 and 20 MPH. However, you will have to make sure that it has enough speed to cross home plate.

Are there any pitching machines that double as a football machine?

There are no machines that can be used for baseball/softball and football at this time.

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