Baseball. It is America’s Pastime, dating back nearly 150 years.
It is a sport that is looked at as old school and traditional, not always keeping up with modern trends in sports. However, when it comes to equipment available for tee-ball players up to major leaguers, that could not be further from the truth.
An increasing number of kids participating in youth baseball creates a greater demand for each kid to bring their best to the table.
That is where the right training equipment comes in. ATEC pitching machines have been known to be among the best in the industry.
So, what do they have to offer? How will these pitching machines give your children the baseball development and edge they need?
Let’s take a look at some of the models.
ATEC Pitching Machines
There are three main pitching machine models out there by ATEC. These are the M3X, the M2, and the M1.
Easy to remember so far? What will help you is that each ATEC pitching machine is made for a different level of player.
The M3X can be a professional level pitching machine, the M2 can be useful for collegiate level players, and the M1 is mainly for travel players up to 15 years old.
M1 Baseball Pitching Machine
As said above, this baseball training machine is primarily for kids 15 years and younger. It is also the cheapest of the three models, running at about $1000.
This machine starts with 30 mph pitches but gets as high as 70 mph. However, it primarily sticks with fastball pitches.
But, the throwing head of the M1 tilts, which means players can practice both ground balls and fly balls with it.
It is only compatible with baseballs, so the softball players will not get much use from this. Ball types that are good for this include leather, dimple, and foam.
This machine provides you with a lot of angle flexibility while not being too difficult to set up and carry around. It also comes with a free machine cover, which is good for those long practice days that get interrupted with a sudden downpour.
Because it is so portable, you have the option to use it both on the field and in a batting cage during the same practice! You will not have difficulty using this machine in multiple ways that you can think of.
The main con is that if your kid is on the older side, they may outgrow the need for a pitching machine that maxes out at 70 mph. Best to get this for kids 12 and younger to get the most out of it.
M2 Baseball Pitching Machine
The M2 is the next level up, targeted for those thinking about or already playing collegiate baseball.
Like the M3, it starts with a minimum speed of 30 mph. But, unlike the M3, it has a maximum pitch speed of 90 mph.
That makes it more appropriate for higher-level players. Not only does the pitch speed increase, but so does the number of pitches it’s made for.
Along with the fastball, this baseball pitching machine also throws a curveball and a slider. This is mainly compatible with baseballs and, like the M3, with a leather, dimple, and foam type.
This pitching machine also has die-cast wheels to increase mobility and make storing this baby a lot easier on you.
However, like any product, there are a few cons or things to be aware of. For the M2, the first thing is the price. It is a BIG jump in price from the M3, costing more than double at just under $2200.
The second thing to note is its weight. ATEC claims this comes in at about 100 pounds, so this will not be the easiest machine to lug around, even with the die-cast wheels.
Nevertheless, the machine is a winner for those serious about succeeding on the college level.
M3X Baseball Pitching Machine
Saving the best for last, the ATEC M3X review is probably the one most of you were waiting for.
Well, it is the most advanced model of the bunch. It can throw speeds of up to 105 mph and throws not only a fastball but also the curveball, slider, splitter, and even a knuckleball.
Unlike the M1 and M2 machines, the M3X is also compatible with softballs on top of the typical baseball.
The M3X has a maximum distance of 340 feet and is placed on a tripod with three wheels. It has speed control dials that allow you to change quickly between pitches and practice your live-arm timing.
It is a state-of-the-art pitching machine that is the most advanced of the bunch here. However, there are some drawbacks.
This machine can be used by professional baseball players, so it may be too advanced for your kids to use the higher functions of this. It does allow you to lower the speed down to as little as 30 mph, but the price tag is heavy if you are not using all of the speed and variety of pitches this offers.
The price is just under $2,450, and the machine’s weight is 120 pounds despite the tripod, which puts the M3X on the heavy side and more different to lug around for multiple uses at one time.
Nevertheless, this machine is top of the line if you have a kid that could make it to the big leagues or a kid that is talented enough to try out rarer and faster pitches.
Find the Right Pitching Machine for You
After reading these ATEC pitching machine reviews, have you found one that you think is the right fit for your kid? Or, maybe the ATEC pitching machines are too expensive?
Read more of our reviews like this to learn more about pitching machines and other baseball equipment to see if this is the right fit for you.