One of the top coaching tools in baseball is a pitching machine and I have been using a good one. Honestly, by the time I’m on the 8th or 9th hitter my arm is jello and I have no zip. I’m focused on throwing strikes and not focused on coaching the batter.
I also often practice in soccer fields, various parks and vacant lots where I have no electricity.
I opted early to look for a pitching machine and now I’m on my fourth year with Louisville Slugger’s UPM 45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine. Fellas it has served me well.
Let’s get to the point:
- No electricity required (spring powered) and that’s great for practice when no electricity is around
- Once sighted in, stays relatively accurate
- Is not the same pitch over and over again. Varies within the strike zone.
- Can throw grounders and flyballs
- Takes a little while to get sighted in after adjusting to fly balls or grounders
- Requires a relatively strong person to operate (average 11 year old struggles pushing pedal down)
- Needs dirt floor to push in the stakes holding it in place.
There are three locations for adjusting the type of pitch you want. First is the pedal and it’s where you set the velocity of the pitch.
On the handle, you have can adjust for height of the pitch.
But where I adjust it most is on the “micro adjustment” bolt found on the loading arm of the machine.
Twist the bolt for very fine tuning up and down.
To adjust left and right, you loosen the bolt on the front and simply swing the direction opposite you need to make the adjustment.
The front spikes keep it locked into place and do a decent job unless the ground is super hard.
I find once dial it in to the speed I want, I don’t have to adjust anything but this for the rest of the year.
Tips for use
- When sighting in your UPM, place the ball with seams in the same direction each time. I place mine so that the horseshoe portion of the seams is open to the left.
- Place in on the most level ground possible.
- Keep the kids away from it, accidental launches and the nature of the springing metal parts can pinch fingers, etc.
- I think leather balls do better out of this machine, and found rotating between leather and the fake leather balls leads to greater inconsistency in strikes. This isn’t the end of the world, because it allows the kids strike zone recognition practice.
If interested, click this link Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine to see it on Amazon and help support this website.
As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. I love hearing from you.