23 July 2022
Anybody learning how to bat in baseball will need a pitching machine. They are a fantastic way to have balls hurled at you, and they aren’t even all that expensive to buy. You will find pitching machines used at all levels in the sport, and there is no MLB training camp without one. But, do the MLB pros even like to use pitching machines? Are there better options?
Table of Contents
Do MLB Players Use Pitching Machines
Pitching machines are fantastic for training the following:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Positioning of the bat
All of this is something that an MLB player needs to be constantly working on. After all, even though they are at the absolute top of the game, they still need to keep up to date with the basics.
This means that you may find that many MLB players will start their training sessions having a go with a few pitching machines.
However, it isn’t what most MLB players will prefer. The problem with pitching machines is that they tend to be predictable. They launch the ball in exactly the same way every single time. There may be subtle variances in the speed. However, once you have nailed the positioning for the way that the pitching machine has been set up, then you are pretty much guaranteed to be hitting that ball every single time.
An MLB player will find that a pitching machine is fantastic for warming up but, beyond that, they aren’t great. They aren’t going to help to improve a person’s overall batting skills.
What MLB Players Really Prefer
One of the cool things about being an MLB player (other than the huge amounts of cash, we presume), is the fact that you have some of the world’s best pitchers on hand.
Most MLB players prefer to practice with some of the team’s pitchers. It makes sense, really. The pitchers get to work on their pitching, and the batters get to work with a ball that is hurtling towards them in a rather unpredictable manner.
If you are watching an MLB player working on their technique, then they aren’t going to be going near a pitching machine. They would have graduated beyond them. They serve no purpose other than giving the batter a pretty decent warm-up.
Of course, pitchers only have so much juice in the tank, so an MLB player is probably going to need to use that pitching machine a couple of times during their training session. At the end of the day, they are still going to be hitting a ball.
Does This Mean You Shouldn’t Use Pitching Machines?
All of this information applies purely to MLB players. We are going to assume that you are not an MLB player. After all, you probably wouldn’t be searching for information on whether MLB players use pitching machines if you were.
At the lower levels of the sport, you should always be using pitching machines. They will help you to develop the core skills that you need to succeed in the field. While it is always fantastic to pull out a real-life pitcher, you have no chance of being able to smash their balls if you haven’t worked on bat positioning, or even on the development of your hand-eye coordination.
So, before you ditch those pitching machines like most pros have, pull it out. Learn how to hit the ball. Once you feel that you have nailed the basics, then you can get yourself a bit of an upgrade. Hopefully, a willing friend who is also an immense pitcher!
While MLB players do use pitching machines, it isn’t really going to form a major part of their training routine. You have to remember that pitching machines are predictable and, in most cases, they are only there to teach people the absolute basics of hitting a pitched ball. They are great for developing positioning and hand-eye coordination, but that is about it.
Most MLB players would much prefer to have a proper pitcher working with them. This way, they are going to find it much easier to deal with the randomness of pitching, movement, etc.
Of course, if you are new to the sport, then stick with your pitching machines. It will be beneficial to you as a player.