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Commercial v. Residential Pitching Machines

This article shows the differences between commercial vs residential pitching machines.

Commercial Pitching Machines

Pitching machines for commercial use should focus on durability for prolonged daily use. They should have large ball hoppers to increase the number of balls that can be thrown per session (hopper size). The large hopper machines typically have the arm style throwing mechanism that only allows for fastballs to be thrown. However, they are more consistent in pitch placement and can throw large quantities of balls due to the hopper size.


  • Large hopper or a side containment apparatus.
  • The hopper allows balls to be auto-loaded into the throwing mechanism.
  • Many large hopper machines have the an arm-style throwing mechanism.
  • Most machines can be converted for both baseball and softball use.
  • Master Pitch is one of the leading commercial use pitching machine manufacturers.

Residential Pitching Machines

Pitching machines for residential use should focus on mobility and function. Pitch speed requirements will depend on skill and amount of usage.

One factor to keep in mind is the distance required for little league (46′) or high school and above (60’ 6″) mound distances.

There are several resources available in order to calculate the speed adjusted to a custom distance.

For example, during the Little League World Series, you’ll often see the adjusted pitch conversion speed. This means a 70 mph pitch from the little league mound distance of 46′ would feel like a 92 mph pitch from a mound distance of 60’6″.

Here are some things to consider for little league or youth pitching machines

  • Pitch speed
  • Distance that the machine will be setup from the hitter
  • The skill level or age of the hitter
  • How easy will the machine be to move
  • What types of balls will the pitching machine throw (e.g. real baseballs, poly balls, dimpled balls, etc.)

The types of pitches thrown will depend on the age of players. Younger players may only need to see fastballs to work on their contact skills.

Older players will want to use machines that can throw breaking balls (curveballs, sliders, etc.). It is important for older players to see different pitches during the hitting session. You don’t want older hitters to “just go through the motions.”

There are tons of different choices in machines available and the purchase is a long term investment. We’re always here to answer any questions you have on any machine.

Thank you for reading our article illustrating the differences between commercial vs residential pitching machines. As always, we love to answer your questions in the comments section.

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