Unique Perspective: First Pitch Relief Pitcher
Baseball & Softball

Unique Perspective: First Pitch Relief Pitcher

The First Pitch brand of pitching machine has already put their name at the top of
high quality low cost pitching machines. The First Pitch Baseline, Original, XL, and
Curveball pitching machines are already the best value in their category. Now First
Pitch has added a true entry level pitching machine with the First Pitch Relief
Pitcher. This machine is a combination pitching machine that will throw top speeds
up to 45 MPH and is capable of being used for defensive work. This machine, like all
First Pitch pitching machines, has top of the line construction with not top of the line

At a price tag of $399 this machine is ideal for little kids. It will throw top speeds of
45 MPH, which at regulation distances will be good for kids up to 9 years old. That
sounds like a big investment for only getting use until the age of 9, however I think
this machine can be adapted to use all the way up to high school.

As I have been coaching longer I have adapted and started using pitching machines
for my defensive drills. I am of the opinion that repetition is the key to developing
skills. When I see a weakness in a player I like to work on that weakness with
repetition. I found the accuracy of a pitching machine is a key in working on
weaknesses. For example if an outfielder has a weakness on coming in on the ball it
is very easy to set the Relief Pitcher to shoot fly balls in a spot that will consistently
work on this. If a catcher has a weakness of blocking pitches this machine can be set
to throw the ball in the dirt consistently for the catcher to work on blocking.

As much practice as I have had hitting fly balls and throwing the ball in the dirt I just
can’t be as accurate as a machine! Catchers blocking the ball, pop ups for catchers,
pop ups communication for infielders/outfielders, outfielders catching fly balls in
the alley, backhand for infielders are all drills that benefit greatly with the accuracy
of a pitching machine. The First Pitch Relief Pitcher is machine enough for all of
these drills.

Now 45 MPH is not enough for batting practice for older kids, however when I
throw batting practice at my advanced age I am throwing it from around 45 feet. If
you move this machine up to around 40 feet it will simulate speeds up to 70 MPH.
This is not even the speed of an average high school fastball, however it is a good
speed to work on hitting mechanics. This machine can be a great compliment to tee
work, soft toss, and live hitting in scrimmages. It is a great machine to get the kids
ready for a game and when used right is a great investment!

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