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As young baseball players move up in levels of play, they grow out of batting cages and coaches look for hitting practice experiences that are more like real game play. If you read this ATEC M2 Pitching Machine review, you get an idea of what they look for: adjustability for speeds, options for breaking pitches, durability, and more.
The M2 used to be called the Casey Pro, and it has been a favorite for coaches of older teens and, especially, college teams. That the M2 can pitch balls up to 90 mph, and can be rather easily moved about to outdoor fields, makes it very attractive to coaches and players in the upper levels of the game.
It’s weight at about 100 lbs. is not overburdensome, and it comes with ground-rolling wheels attached in front for ease of transport. All in all, the M2 Pitching Machine is well above-average for high-level baseball play.
Efficiency and Performance
The M2 was popular as the Casey Pro and the name change hasn’t impacted that much. The name switch seems necessary because of the M3, ATEC’s 3-wheel marvel that comes with a higher price tag. For training at the college level or below, the M2 holds up just fine.
Adjusting pitches on the M2 is as easy as turning 2 knobs. The coach/operator has open access to a panel with the 2 knobs, each controlling the vertical wheels that spin to project the baseball forward. Adjusting the knobs not only moves the velocity up or down, but also impacts how balls spin and therefore curve depending on the pitch desired.
The machine’s tripod-style legs keep it plenty stable during use. This model is known for its accuracy, so coaches or operators can easily shift a variety of pitches to cross any part of the strike zone. Not much setup is needed except to plug it in.
Using the M2 Baseball Pitching Machine
The M2 is easy to use: just set the aim and pitch speed and style, and drop balls into the slot leading to the center of 2 vertical wheels. ATEC recommends using its own balls, the ATEC Hi.Per(R) line of pitching machine balls, as they are designed aerodynamically to keep ball flights consistent. The Hi.Per(R) line offers 3 options: the Pro Leather, X-Act Dimple, or Lite Foam balls.
Once the machine is plugged in, it’s best to send some balls without a batter at the plate, to see ball flights and set the initial aim. Afterward, with a hitter in the batter’s box, use the 2 knobs to adjust and mix pitches. The simplicity of changing speeds and bends during a single session makes using this machine much more realistic than the straight fastballs of commercial batting cage machines.
- Can vary speeds from 30 mph up to 90 mph — or about the top of the velocity range thrown by college pitchers.
- Adjustability to throw fastballs, curveballs, and sliders.
- Curveballs can break either right or left.
- Easy-access panel to change pitches by just turning dials.
- Durable steel frame with wide-base tripod to soften recoil and protect accuracy.
- Die-cast wheels for mobility and easing storage.
- 100 lbs.
- The maximum speed of 90 mph will be acceptable for coaches or teams that have outgrown batting cages where top speeds are typically lower.
- Easy ability to change the velocity, as well as type of pitch thrown, to be as similar to live game play as possible.
- A tilt system allows angling the machine’s head to alter the rotation axis of balls and thus rotation (and movement) of pitched balls.
- Mix of styles of pitches including curves and sliders; lets hitters get used to bending offerings through repetitive practice.
- Curveballs can be arranged to come from either right- and left-handed pitchers.
- Steady and durable on tripod legs.
- Accuracy helpful also for outfield practice, to shoot long-distance fly balls at a variety of heights and angles.
- Relatively short recovery time; can set the timed break between pitches.
- At 100 lbs., it’s moderately heavy, for lifting into (and out of) vehicles.
The M2 Baseball Pitching Machine by ATEC (learn more), formerly known as the Casey Pro, remains among the top choices for batting practice for high-skills play all the way up to the collegiate level. Its metal frame design is praised by users for its durability, and it’s top speed is acceptable for players graduating from batting cages to on-field hitting sessions.
The marketing phrase for the model is “accuracy, power, and portability,” and the 2M delivers solidly in those areas. The small wheels for rolling on and off fields, along with a moderate but manageable weight, make it relatively easy to get the machine where it needs to be. Many features are designed to boost or protect accuracy, and the power of velocity up to 90 mph is enough for high-level baseball hitting instruction.