Personal Pitching machine question

by Catherine DiSantis
(Mentor, Ohio, USA)

The Personal Pitcher Pro

The Personal Pitcher Pro

Hi, I was wondering if you had ever heard of the Personal Pitcher from Sports Products Consultants (SPC)? It looks like a pretty good product, but I don't know much about these things. Their web site is www.personalpitcher.com...Please tell me if it may be just a rip off. I'm a single mom of two boys who just love baseball. They both play in the city little league and I'd like to help them improve their hitting skills. I found your site while looking for information on the different (hundreds!) of training choices.


Sincerely,
Catherine

Swing Smarter Response

Hi Catherine, first of all I'd like to commend you on single parenting 2 boys, I know, us boys can be pretty rough from time to time on our parents, but I assure you, it'll all be worth it as they mature and develop in sports. Kudos to you!



On your question, it's funny you ask about the Personal Pitcher Pitching Machine, it's on my action item list of articles to include on the site as one of the 20% of effective hitting aids out there...also, one of my local hitting clients bought one and loves it; we've talked about it quite a bit, and I think you'd be making a good choice investment in your boys' futures with this machine.

It spits whiffle balls (which are the best training aids around, by the way, and better yet golf sized whiffle balls) out on a timer, has a little red light, so the hitter knows when to expect the pitch, and not only helps with hitting, but the client I referred to earlier uses it with his son (a sophomore in high school) to practice his catching technique.

The only downside to it is on a bright sunny day, the hitter has a hard time making out the little red light, so they may struggle with predicting when the pitch will come out of the hole.

However, it looks like you can tape a small piece of cardboard over the bulb to act as an awning shade to see the light better.

Take care and good luck with those boys;-)

Adding to this past reader question and response...

Here's the grades we give this fantastic product:


  • Durable - A

  • Weight - A

  • Economical - A

  • User Friendly - A

  • Convenient/Compact (for storage) - A

  • Easy Assembly - A

  • Partner Needed? (Y/N) - No

  • Does this device teach you something? (Y/N)- Yes


Straight A's! A comment worth mentioning about "Does this device teach you something?" Absolutely it does...I always say this on SwingSmarter.com, but golf whiffle balls are one of the best hitting aid accessories on the planet. They allow for off speed and breaking ball hitting development.

My best buddy and Fresno State/Bullard High teammate Scott Beshears and I took thousands of swings hitting whiffles, and this machine spits them out on a timer, so you don't even need a partner now.

There's more good news...

The Personal Pitcher Pro weighs in at 5 pounds, is priced at $149 plus $16 shipping, the pro model now throws left and right handed curve-balls/sliders, includes 4 dozen balls, 4hr. battery life, 4 pitch speeds, has a 2 year warranty, 30 day money back guarantee, and sets up with any camera tripod.

As of February of 2011 we found a better comparable product in The Sandlot Slugger (SLS). You'll pay more for it $219 shipped, and in this case, you get what you pay for...the SLS has replaced the Personal Pitcher Pro from it's lead-off post in The Starting Lineup...check it out here!

Comments for Personal Pitching machine question

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Feb 05, 2010
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Personal Pitching Machine Success
by: vegaschris

I like the personal pitching machine but i can only comment on its performance indoors. I have a long master suite and we set it up about 20 feet away from my 7 year old and he gets great hitting practice. The key to this machine is to use quality golf whiffle balls, the ones from walmart don't work at all. Good quality balls will cost $3-$5 dozen but are worth it. The price of the machine seems to keep falling and for just over $100, you cant go wrong.

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Great for hand eye coordination

  • Curve balls have different settings

  • Adjustable speed



Cons:

  • Balls do get jammed it seems every time we use it. I just stand behind it
    and unjam it.

  • Takes a while to dial it in to get good pitches. we have gotten good at
    this over time.



For us, it works great inside. we live in a hot windy climate and wouldn't be great for us outside.

Swing Smarter Response:
We agree wholeheartedly with you vegaschris, glad to hear you have your 7-year-old already working on this machine. Your little hitter will be that more ahead of the game...you may also want to try putting "Big League Eyes" on the golf whiffles, check out the review we did on them here.

Swing Smarter!

Jun 14, 2009
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Personal Pitcher
by: Lesterclan

I purchased the Personal Pitcher several years ago and I would recommend it. Here are my Pros/Cons:
Pros:
1. Does what it is suppose to do. Hitting golf ball sized wiffle balls is an awesome drill (especially if you use a small diameter bat...Personal Pitcher sells the Grobat, but you can use any small diameter bat).
2. Relatively inexpensive. I purchased the Pro model which pitches curve balls, but I have never used the curve ball function. I live in Florida and use the machine outside and when its windy, it curves on its own (a lot...this will be listed in the Cons section). If I were to buy again, I'd get the basic unit...it's cheaper.
3. Very light weight and easy to set up and use. You'll want to get the tripod as well, but altogether it is simple to use and set up.

Cons:
1. Tends to break down easy. I've had to replace the wheels twice.
2. The golf balls tend to get stuck in the auto feeder requiring someone to stand by and unclog it(I stopped using the auto feeder altogether and just dropped the balls in one at a time like a pitching machine).
3. If used outside, very suceptable to the wind. This is not necessarily a bad thing since the ball is not groved in the same spot. It tends to make it more game-like since the hitter doesn't know where the pitch will be. However, if it's really windy, don't use it outside.

There are other similar products on the market, but I haven't used them so I can not comment on them (I would be interested in a comparison of the different wiffle ball machines...?). I hope this helps.

[Note from Swing Smarter @Lesterclan: awesome review! I know this will help others when deciding on this machine, I thank you very much for your contribution to Swing Smarter Baseball!]

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