The SwingAway versus The Jugs Small Ball Pitching Machine
First things first your site is awesome. Great information tool for parents. Wanted to know your opinion on two hitting aids. The SwingAway elite traveler and Jugs small ball pitching machine. Thanks
Swing Smarter Response: Thanks for the comment on the site Harry, we truly appreciate it, and we do what we can to educate our fellow baseball students-of-the-game :)
We love the Swing Away Elite Traveler, pretty similar to the SoloHitter Traveler we've reviewed before. You can view that here. There's a few big difference: quality and price...the Solohitter will run about $240 and the beginner SwingAway is $199.
The SwingAway is a better quality product with a few different models ranging from beginner to pro. Also, the SwingAway is in all 30 MLB clubhouses where the Solohitter is NOT. And finally, the SwingAway suspension cable system is much better at returning the hit baseball back to base uber-fast.
Both products are always great because you don't have to chase balls and they lend for easy clean-up/take down, making both batting aid tools an ideal candidate for hitting in cramped indoor spaces.
Enough of the SwingAway, now let's talk about Jugs...the Jugs Small Ball Pitching Machine I mean :P
The Jugs Small Ball Pitching Machine looks like a great machine, almost similar to our favorite wiffle ball pitching machine The Sandlot Slugger, which is featured in The Starting Lineup, our online storefront, where you can find "The 9 Best Baseball Hitting Aids on the Planet."
However, there are a couple issues with the Jugs machine we need to address...
The Jugs machine does use polyurethane foam balls instead of whiffles (Personal Pitcher). There are two concerns: 1) The price which is around $290, where the Sandlot Slugger is $219 shipped, and 2) The Jugs pitching machine can either spit balls out with a manual feed or on a 5 second timer...it doesn't look like there's a visual indicator on auto feed as to when the ball will pop out. i.e. The Sandlot Slugger flashes a light when it's about to spit a ball out.
This light flashing is so important because it signals to the hitter when he/she needs to load in his swing.
For the auto feed reason, Swing Smarter likes the Sandlot Slugger better, because then this machine is just like any other "wheel" pitching machine out there. And we hate those with a passion because pitchers DON'T: 1) Throw with wheels, and 2) Throw on a 5 second timer.
Hitters queue on visual indicators for timing NOT a "feeling" of when the ball will pop out of his hand.
All in all, the SwingAway Elite Traveler is your better choice. Addressing the Jugs machine, you're better off going with The Sandlot Slugger.
Again, both the SwingAway and The Sandlot Slugger are part of The Starting Lineup Store Great question Harry :)
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