Is the Sandlot Slugger worth the extra $$?

by Dan

This machine appears to be a faster throwing personal pitcher. It appears to have all the benefits of the personal pitcher, is the extra speed worth the extra money? About 40 dollars is the difference.

(also, this came in almost at the same time from Nicholas from MA):

I'm interested in two small golf ball size wiffle ball pitching machines (Personal Pitcher PRO, Sandlot Slugger). They're very similar and competitive - wondered if you know of any performance reviews comparing these two units.

I've recently been informed by SL Slugger, that they're field testing a new modification to enable unit to throw true curveball in addition to fastballs(like the PP Pro).

(please note: Nicholas added a good comment to this post, so please check it out below...)

Swing Smarter Response:
Great question Dan, you are the second person in as many days to ask about which whiffle ball training aid was better.

The major differences are: the Sandlot Slugger can spit out golf whiffles at speeds of up to 70mph (PPP goes up to 55mph), 7 hour battery life (PPP has 4 hours), and carries 100+ whiffles (the PPP carries exactly 100).

The question is: Is the Sandlot Slugger worth the extra $40 or so?

To answer this question, I'm going to use a quote from Sandlot Slugger's website:

"Why NOT Choose the Competition?

  • Top speed well under 60 MPH - lucky to hit 50 MPH with a good tail wind,

  • Cheap Chinese balls,

  • Ball feeder holds about 70 balls, depending on how big a pile you build,

  • No handle, and

  • Very flimsy tripod"

Point number 1: we can simulate faster pitch speed and hitter reaction time by just closing the distance between the batter and the machine...see how in this Swing Smarter reader post.

Point number 2: about using cheap Chinese whiffle balls, okay, are we going to save a ton of money switching to made in the USA whiffles? Regardless of where they're made, plastic will break at some point. Are we, in the USA, really using better "plastic" than in China?

Point number 3: should we be letting our kids hit over 100+ whiffles in one sitting? Of course not. Smarter Swings should be based on quality, NOT quantity. It's like "6 Minute Abs." Why not make "5 Minute Abs?" Is one extra minute going to make a huge difference? People are going to over eat anyway. A ball feeder holding 70 is plenty...adding more is just putting off when the hitter must clean up his/her mess anyway.

Point number 4: who cares if it doesn't have a handle?? Really, these things weigh about 7 pounds, a 2-year-old can lift it.

Point number 5: the buyer can use their own camera tripod, no big deal. Tripods are what, like, $15?

UPDATE!! After more extensive research about the Sandlot Slugger v. The Personal Pitcher Pro debate, we're confident in our successful challenge to replace the PPP with the SLS in The Starting Lineup. To read why CLICK HERE.

Thanks so much for this awesome submission, I hope my response helped. Good luck this upcoming baseball season!

Comments for Is the Sandlot Slugger worth the extra $$?

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Jan 23, 2016
Personal Pitcher PRos
by: Bob Richard

Our feedback both on Ebay and Amazon speaks for itself. I wish the owner of this website would remove the ugly comment above. It does nothing to improve the quality of this discussion.
Bob Richard

Mar 30, 2015
Is the former ML pitcher going to really help us with hitting.
by: Anonymous

One of the pros listed by the guy who makes the PPP is that his son played ML ball and one can talk to a ML player when ordering. So what?!? Is it really going to make a difference? Is he really going to give us advice or even care about my kid's swing? This is a red herring.

Mar 08, 2015
Anyone who has dealt with the PP owner...
by: Bob Richard

....knows that he backs the Personal Pitcher to the hilt, and routinely talks customers thru problems and assists in any repairs including replacement parts, usually at no cost. The characterization above is unseemly for a professional website, and they don't mention that both the SS and the CRusher are direct knock-offs of the very successful Personal Pitcher. In addition, my son, Chris, who retired from ML ball recently, is taking all our calls, so if you a=want to speak to a real pro about baseball or pitching machines, he can be reached at 800/474-8243. PS, we're closing in on 50,000 units and are in our 21st year. Thanks, Bob Richard, Owner
Personal Pitcher

Oct 17, 2014
Sandlot Slugger for many reasons is better!
by: Anonymous

I have dealt with both owners due to various issues, whether it's battery life or the plug isn't working, etc.. I highly recommend the Sandlot Slugger for the following reasons. 1) Made much better, with a better engine. The Personal Pitcher is made with really cheap materials. 2) When I dealt with the Personal Pitcher owner, he was an as&hole. The Sandlot Slugger owner stayed on the phone with me and went step by step how to change the battery with me. 3) Pay the extra money, in this case you do get what you pay for. The Personal Pitcher will work (for awhile) but the Sandlot Slugger will outperform it in every way. And when you are carrying a tripod, the machine, and the balls, the handle does make a difference. That must have been written by someone who never moves the unit from field to field.

Jul 10, 2013
Personal Pitcher Advantages
by: Anonymous

The PP has easily replaceable parts all the way down to the thruster wheels and motors. We have so many spare parts over 20 years of product development, that we now offer a LIFE TIME Warranty for $24.95. Your grandkids will be using the same Personal Pitcher that your son/daughter is. My son, Chris, ML (ret.) Orioles,
Cards, is taking over for me, so if you want to talk to a pro about hitting, give us a call at 800/474-8243.

Apr 16, 2012
by: Anonymous

I have both of these products. The pros for the sandlot slugger are well founded. I find it to be a bit more accurate. I do not find one better built then the other. Both are built from plastic, regardless who makes it its cheap plastic. If this is a concern buy neither of them. I never needed a 7 hour battery. Practice is usally done in two. My SLS was purchased one year before my PPP. Both have held up to the same rigors including my last son who at 11 yrs old could destroy a M1 ahbram if givin the chance. The made in the USA balls are great but guess what when they needed replacing just like every other coach I went to the local store and baught what ever was on the shelf, these machines dont care where there made neither do I. The question thou, is the SLS worth the extra cost over PPP. I say no. I can purchase two of the PPPs for the cost of one SLS. Both do what they are designed to do and what I ask, neither one perfect. They are used on my practice field for hitting, fielding and catching drills interchangable at that. So if it comes down to cost my vote is the SLS is worth every penny I spent but not worth the difference of the PPP cost. When replacement time comes the PPP will get the nod.

Dec 16, 2010
Compare Sandlot Slugger & Personal Pitching PRO
by: Anonymous

Sorry folks, my spreadsheet comparison of the Slugger and the PRO did not convert well into the Comments format. It would appear that the Slugger has a slightly bigger motor, faster fastball speed, longer battery, constructed with more durable plastic material, has more ball feeder speeds, and can be upgraded with turbo speed (70 mph) and remote control.

The PRO can be programmed to throw fastball, curve & slider. The Slugger is currently programmed to throw fastball, cut fastball. NOTE: According to the manufacturer, the Slugger is currently being field tested with a modification to also throw a curveball.

We'll have to wait for a side by side performance comparison.

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