The swingaway has a ball attached to bungee cords and allows for an easier time to have more swings then a tee. The Skilz Hurricane Category 4 is a similiar product to the swingaway but has a rotational arm and not a real ball.
Do you view the Skilz Hurricane Category 4 as an improvement over the swingaway?
Swing Smarter Response: Great question Rick! I love the challenge between these two. I decided to analyze the $199 SwingAway MVP model to the $199 SKLZ Hurricane 4 model, so we get an apples to apples price comparison.
This Bryce Harper endorsed hitting product most of the time is compared against the SoloHitter, which I used to promote as one of the 9 best baseball hitting aids on the planet in The Starting Lineup Store, but this one video changed it for me:
(The Solohitter is on the right, and the SwingAway is on the left)
Here are the features of the SwingAway (copy and pasted from SwingAway.com):
The MVP Model is the New and Improved version of the SwingAway for Home Training and is engineered to be a stronger, more durable and even easier to assemble.
This SwingAway Model is specifically designed for the Home Training of all players regardless of age or ability and for Team Use up to 13u. The MVP allows varsity and youth players to Train Year- Round. Made of High Quality 18 gage Galvanized Steel.
Immediately becomes a Hitting Station for Practice and Pre- Games Batting Practice
Provides the feel of hitting live pitches without chasing or picking up balls
Ensures a Perfect Swing with each repetition, instant feedback visually and by feel
Ball can be positioned anywhere in the strike zone, high, low, inside or outside
Includes the SA Patented Hitting Training Mat which teaches proper contact points to hit inside, outside, down the middle pitch locations
Promotes a Quick and Powerful hands inside and to the ball, eliminating a long casting swing and other swing flaws
3 - second Ball return, up to 10-15 quality swings per minute - 100-150 cuts in Only 10-15 minutes
Develops Proper Swing Mechanics, Muscle Memory, Bat Speed, Power and Confidence
Train Year-Round, sets up indoors or out- plus folds flat in seconds for maximum portability and storability
Converts very easily to a World Class Pitch -Back for defensive and throwing drills
You know me, I am NOT about endorsements, they tend to throw up a red flag about the poor quality and/or ineffectiveness of the product...but please check out Bryce Harper's comment about the SwingAway, it comes across a little different than other "fake" endorsements:
"I have been using the SWINGAWAY since I was 10 years Old and still Train on it today as a PRO."
I know for a fact BH used the SwingAway virtually his whole baseball life...I have a close source.
In following, the SKLZ Hurricane Category 4 is endorsed, I believe, by Derek Jeter, and I guarantee he can't make a statement anywhere close to that. In fact, I don't think he trains on it TODAY!
Not to mention, I have a SwingAway and LOVE it!
Also, I have the older model, and it took me the whole 2010 All-Star baseball game to assemble it...way too long. Now SwingAway improved on the MVP model logistics by making it include less parts and time to put it together.
Now for the SKLZ Hurricane Category 4 (copy and pasted from the SKLZ website):
Rugged, non-slip base for indoor/outdoor solo practice
47-inch target training stick with integrated ball provides ideal placement
Simulates incoming pitches, or hitting off a tee as a stationery target
Height extends from 29” to 43” for virtually any size and aged player, or ball position
Multi-twist mechanics provide feedback on bat speed and power
Heavy-duty but lightweight – moves easily almost anywhere
Easy setup storage
Some assembly required – no tools needed
Contents include: Hurricane Category 4 Unit, home plate, carry bag, 4 ground pins, 4 power bands
What's the verdict?
It's really a question of preference...I'm super partial to the SwingAway because I want to train on a machine either with a stationary ball, automated soft toss machine action, or live pitching. I don't like that a ball is coming at you attached to a stick in a circular motion...real life pitches don't come to you like that.
My belief is this...the reason we have trouble taking our BP swing to a real-life plate appearance is because we don't train in reality.
Wheel pitching machines, tether-ball like hitting aids, balls on a stick (that's what "she" said!!). These types of tools do NOT train for game-AB's.
Although, I have hitting instructor friends (ahem! Robert Canary), who I respect tremendously, who absolutely loves training his hitters on the Hurricane Category 4.
PLEASE NOTE: both these machines talk about improving mechanics, trust me, they don't. They provide an outlet to get more repetition in.
Hitting technique must be addressed with hitting aids like the Drive Developer, MP30, and/or the ProHammer hitting aids you can find at The Starting Lineup Store as well.
Rick, like I said, it's all about personal preference. So, I do NOT believe the SKLZ Hurricane Category 4 is an upgrade to the SwingAway MVP.
Thanks again for your question!
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