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Baseball training equipment can be very specific to targeted goals in the game, meaning the goal might be to help with strength, agility, quickness, reaction time, consistency, or anything else that boosts success in baseball. The game has progressed well beyond old go-to’s like bat donuts or pitch-back nets.
We wanted to offer insight into the best baseball training equipment to improve your swing, or your pitching performance, the main components of the game that require constant repetitions and training.
So think carefully about the areas of a player’s game that may need improvement, such as leg strength for hitting power or pitching oomph, or eye-hand coordination to be a better infielder, and then look for products and features that target those things.
You can be amazed at the sheer amount of sports training equipment produced not only specifically for baseball play, but for a very specialized part of the game, like catching a ball.
- 1 Summary of Recommendations: Best Baseball Equipment to Excel in the Game
- 2 Who Needs Baseball Training Equipment
- 3 Types of Baseball Training Equipment
- 4 Our Choices: Best Baseball Training Equipment for Swings and Tosses
- 4.1 1. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product Overall ~ PowerNet Baseball Softball Practice Net
- 4.2 2. Best Baseball Training Batting Tee ~ Tanner Heavy Batting Tee
- 4.3 3. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Strength Training ~ ArmCare2go Baseball Resistance Bands
- 4.4 4. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Infielders ~ SKLZ Reaction Ball
- 4.5 5. Best Baseball Training Equipment for Hitting Wrist and Arm Strength ~ Rukket Weighted Baseball Heavy Training Balls
- 4.6 6. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Throwing Growth ~ PowerNet German Marquez Progressive Weighted Training Baseballs
- 4.7 7. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Legs ~ VPX Softball Training Harness
- 4.8 8. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Hitting Explosiveness ~ SWINGRAIL Baseball/Softball Swing Trainer Aid
- 4.9 9. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Soft Hands ~ BaseGoal Softhands Foam Fielding Trainer
- 4.10 10. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Quick Practice Swings ~ Easton Pro Stix Hitting Trainer
- 5 What to Look for to Purchase Baseball Training Equipment
- 6 Baseball Training Equipment: A Look at the Evolution
- 7 Related Questions
- The PowerNet Baseball Softball Practice Net rises above the very many hitting and pitching nets out there, and tops our recommendations.
- Among many choices for this vital coaching item, the Tanner Heavy Batting Tee is an exceptional hitting tool with a heavy, 3-pronged base.
- Take a peek at the ArmCare2go Baseball Resistance Bands, a superb alternative to dumb weights for baseball-specific strength training.
- The goofy-looking SKLZ Reaction Ball is a very affordable training tool for aspiring infielders ~ and fun to use and learn with!
- Get a bucket along with the 15 Rukket Weighted Heavy Training Balls for help with instruction or gaining strength in hitting or pitching.
- The PowerNet German Marquez Progressive Weighted Training Baseballs are this company’s foray into weighted balls, and we like the option of different weights per ball.
- Check out the VPX Softball Training Harness for resistance training while in the act of throwing or hitting baseballs or softballs, superb for building muscle memory.
- To hone detailed hitting practices, the SWINGRAIL Baseball/Softball Swing Trainer Aid aims to improve a hitter’s path to the ball, among other beneficial movements.
- Players are forced to “use both hands!” with the BaseGoal Softhands Foam Fielding Trainer ~ an excellent tool for infield skills.
- The Easton Pro Stix Hitting Trainer is a fine contraption that lets 2 people get in some swings without chasing any balls.
Unlike other sports gear, we review, which may require careful explanation (e.g. what is a pitcher’s toe plate?), discussing baseball training equipment is straightforward. Who can benefit from baseball training gear?:
- Managers and coaches
- Children (for pickup games or “street ball”
- Players in other sports with similar physical movements as baseball play
Baseball is multi-faceted and what your body needs to train for game play depends on many factors including the position or positions played, which type of a hitter you are (e.g. contact vs. power hitter), how you wish to pitch, and more.
Our top recommendations below are products that we determined were exceptional for the type of training noted.
However, we did not cover every type of baseball training gear. As you peruse options, you may run across some of the following, and if you want more information on any of them, please feel free to contact us!
- Resistance bands
- Nets for both pitching and hitting
- Hitting tees
- Hitting sticks
- Swing contraptions
- Bat donuts
- Wrist protectors
- Shin guards
- Weighted balls or bats
- Specialty gloves
1. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product Overall ~ PowerNet Baseball Softball Practice Net
Probably the first piece of equipment any newcomer to baseball needs is a net. Baseball is a team sport and is nearly impossible to perfect as a sole individual. There are tons of throwing and hitting nets on the market, but the PowerNet Baseball Softball Practice Net really stands out ~ and in fact, it tops our list as the best baseball training gear item.
This company’s focus on the hitting net is ingrained into its name. By sticking with its core business, PowerNet has figured out how to deliver quality materials and features for prices that won’t shock. It’s difficult to find fault with this net, which is primarily used for hitting repetitions but also could be used for throwing or pitching drills.
The PowerNet practice net is sturdy with a steel frame, yet its trademark fiberglass bow poles allow the flexibility needed on a product that takes a thorough beating over time. The rounded shape makes setting up and taking down easy, and it comes with a carrying bag so transport is a breeze.
- Net size: 7-foot by 7-foot (8×8 for DLX version, for a higher price)
- Weight: 12 lbs.
- Material(s): Steel frame, fiberglass bow poles, polyester net
- Carrying bag: Yes, heavy canvas
- Special Feature: Large sock net area to hold more balls and avoid session disruptions
What We Like
- Steel frame and fiberglass bow poles for a mix of sturdiness and flexibility in the right places
- Nicely priced for a recognized brand in this market
- 1-year limited warranty
2. Best Baseball Training Batting Tee ~ Tanner Heavy Batting Tee
If our list was based on positive user feedback alone, the Tanner Heavy Batting Tee could sit at the top. Those familiar with the game understand the frustrations over many years of having only all-rubber batting tees available. Sure they lasted best they could, but in the end, the kids always won.
So Tanner designed this hitting tee to fight back. The Heavy has features that coaches and players at every level will appreciate. Start with the unusually shaped, weighted base. Designed in a claw shape, the intent is to better hold the tee in place and prevent tipping over or sliding on the dirt.
This is a premium batting tee, at a price range maybe better suited for medium- to well-advanced players. The patented FlexTop is designed for the best feel possible through the entire swing, with more of the ball and less of the tee.
- Reach: Ball set from 26 to 43 inches
- Weight: 13 lbs.
- Material(s): Steel and rubber
- Special Feature: Hand-rolled FlexTop for flexibility and durability
What We Like
- Claw-shaped, 10-lb. base
- About the best ball presentation you can find
- 1-year warranty and Tanner Guarantee
3. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Strength Training ~ ArmCare2go Baseball Resistance Bands
It’s taken years for physical fitness experts to understand this, but heavy weightlifting is not always the best bet for strength-building for baseball. The joints just take a beating during play, and over time dislike too many dumbbell lifts. So take a close look at the ArmCare2go Baseball Resistance Bands.
There are a lot of ways to work out a body using resistance bands. What we really like about this ArmCare2go offering is the package as a whole, at a nice price. Anchoring the package are a couple of quality, sleeved resistance bands. But then the accessories provide any coach with tons of options to work out many different muscle groups.
There are cuffs for ankles and wrist, a strap just for stretching, an anchor to attach to doors for training pretty much anywhere, and even a forearm grip strengthener and finger extender to boost grips on the ball. The company touts boosting pitching velocities, but don’t let that be the only attraction point. Nearly every baseball action can be improved with these parts.
- Weight: 2 lbs.
- Material(s): Rubber, plastic, and band sleeves
- Options: Cuffs to attach to both wrists or ankles; door anchor for road use
- Special Feature: Travel bag
What We Like
- Ease of use with detachable clips
- Solid package to strength building in a lot of bodily areas while avoiding over-extension of joints
- Designed for us before or after throwing, for baseball or softball, for throwing development
4. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Infielders ~ SKLZ Reaction Ball
Older ballplayers may cringe when they see the shape of the SKLZ Reaction Ball, but they have to tip their cap to the skills this training equipment piece helped to hone. It looks like it could bounce in any direction at any moment ~ which is the point.
This is a baseball training item totally focused on agility and tightening reflexes, a couple of vital skills for modern infielders. The 6-sided ball made with high-bounce rubber shifts direction quickly with seemingly every bounce ~ designed to keep players on high alert, to speed up reflexes, and improve hand-eye coordination.
Add that this is the least-costly of the items on this list, and it’s pretty much a must-have for any coach. The Reaction Ball is probably best for players a little older, say at least 8 years and older, and perhaps starting in 10-and-under divisions.
- Weight: >2 lbs
- Material(s): Rubber
- Options: None (single piece)
- Special Feature: Unpredictability
What We Like
- Ability for sole player to get in as many repetitions as they like (e.g. bounce against a wall, or play 2-way with another player)
- Solid rubber for durability
- Nicely priced
5. Best Baseball Training Equipment for Hitting Wrist and Arm Strength ~ Rukket Weighted Baseball Heavy Training Balls
Weighted training balls for baseball repetitions fall much into the same category as resistance bands: they are excellent for building strength and muscle memory, without too much pressure on the joints. The first set of such included here is the Rukket Weighted Baseball/Softball Heavy Training Balls, coming with 15 specially designed balls.
We appreciated the positive user feedback, plus the number of balls included in this package ~ and especially the bucket to haul them all around. As this product name states, these are weighted items, and cumulatively can be not fun to lug around
The bucket helps manage that, and the balls themselves are very well made and ready to improve baseball actions with repetitions. The balls are designed to pretty much do nothing if not struck properly, providing instant feedback to hitters.
- Size: 2⅞-inch
- Weight: 1 lb. each
- Material(s): n/a
- Options: Balls and bucket can be purchased separately
- Special Feature: Heavy exterior coating
What We Like
- Special design limiting flight, allowing use indoors or in closed-in spaces
- Instant feedback on mis-hits
- Company satisfaction guarantee of full refund
6. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Throwing Growth ~ PowerNet German Marquez Progressive Weighted Training Baseballs
Not intending to go back to back with weighted balls, but the PowerNet German Marquez Progressive Weighted Training Baseballs is notable for many reasons, among them how this package provides a variety of weights to give coaches options.
With balls weighing from 3 to 12 ounces (of different colors to make them easily distinguishable), coaches can mix and match drills by player sizes. These additional options and flexibility, plus the company’s reputation for delivering quality training products, gets this item on our list.
Newcomers to the game may underestimate the importance of strong muscles and tendons in places like the fingers, wrists, and forearms. Weighted training balls are solid for strengthening all of those while simply in the normal process of throwing or hitting.
- Weight: 3 to 12 oz.
- Material(s): Faux leather
- Options: 9 balls
- Special Feature: Includes 8-week throwing program
What We Like
- Produced by a respected sports equipment manufacturer
- Designed for throwing improvements, incrementally
- Durable synthetic leather and same size as official baseball
7. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Legs ~ VPX Softball Training Harness
Newcomers to baseball are probably unaware of how vital leg strength is for success. They might see all the swinging, catching, and throwing and think, it’s all about the arms. However, it’s the legs that provide the power and stamina, and for that consider the VPX Softball Training Harness.
These are the resistance bands outlined at the top of this list, only with hooks and harnesses to connect body parts during motions of play in baseball or (more often) softball. While this product is well-established for fastpitch softball training, we think it’s helpful in many ways for baseball play.
Each baseball move, such as a pitching windup and strike, or a hitter’s stride forward, uses the same groups of muscles. This band, say connecting the hip to the ankle, allows a player to simply do what they do, and strengthen those muscles while doing it.
Comes with tutorials for over 100 drills, and provides unique opportunities to teach muscles in the body’s lower half to maximize power in hitting or pitching.
- Weight: 1.15 lbs.
- Material(s): Rubber and sleeves
- Options: Numerous
- Special Feature: Comes with tutorials for hitters, pitchers, slow- or fastpitch softball, man or women, youth players
- What We Like
- Great variety of uses, for swinging bats, pitching or throwing motions, running
- Easy to attach
- Lightweight and easy to transport
8. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Hitting Explosiveness ~ SWINGRAIL Baseball/Softball Swing Trainer Aid
The SWINGRAIL Baseball/Softball Swing Trainer Aid is unlike other pieces of baseball training equipment. The Swing Trainer is designed just for that: to train a hitter’s swing, namely, for explosiveness.
And anyone who knows anything about hitting understands the importance of quickness, drive, and the resultant explosiveness. Without getting too much into the details, this product aims to help hitters “stay inside” of the ball, and to take better paths to the ball.
That is, it helps train the muscles that initiate and guide the bat to the ball and point of contact. They say that it isn’t practice that makes perfect; but that perfect practice makes perfect. That’s the intent of the Swing Trainer, by connecting back biceps to bat for use during practice swings ~ indicating instantly if something was done incorrectly.
- Weight: 4 oz.
- Material(s): Varies
- Options: n/a
What We Like
- Designed to correct hitting mistakes during regular batting practice time
- Comes with 15 online instructional videos and training program
9. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Soft Hands ~ BaseGoal Softhands Foam Fielding Trainer
We already offered a tip on something to work on infielder reflexes, so why not also include something to improve the hands? The BaseGoal Softhands Foam Fielding Trainer forces defenders to use both hands no matter what in catching baseballs.
Basically a flat foam pad strapped over the front of the open (non-throwing) hand, this guitar-pick-shaped device forces players to abide by the old coaches’ saying, “Use 2 hands!”
Contoured to fit palms and add comfort, the Softhands trainer aims to help players develop consistent, quick transitions from catching to throwing hand, speeding up the overall time to get rid of the ball. Since there is no way to field balls backhanded with this item, it reinforces the need for players to get their body in front of the baseball.
- Weight: 5.6 oz.
- Material(s): Foam rubber and elastic finger strips
- Options: Ambidextrous
- Special Feature: Extra puck of foam at palm for padding
What We Like
- Very light and transportable
- Durable thick foam rubber
- Ease of putting on and taking off
10. Best Baseball Training Equipment Product for Quick Practice Swings ~ Easton Pro Stix Hitting Trainer
Not every coach has time to set up a net for soft toss to let a player get a few hacks in before getting in the batter’s box, so these “hitting sticks” were invented. We cap our list with the Easton Pro Stix Hitting Trainer, the unusual-looking long, thin plastic thing with a hard ball molding at the end.
Imagine a baseball bat elongated and much thinner, with a grip at one end and a ball molded onto the other end. The latter is what a coach holds out away from his or her body, for a batter to strike ~ and the product’s very flexible stem allows the fake ball to give a little and then bounce right back to where it was.
It allows for several swings in a row without having to chase any balls, perfect for those moments before games or when a batter is in the on-deck circle.
- Size: 63 inches long
- Weight: 1.44 lbs.
- Material(s): Plastic
- Special Feature: Strap at base to attach to wrist and prevent flying off during hard hits
What We Like
- Light, easily transportable, and super easy to store
- Great option to add to cycle/stations types of hitting drills; or to have on-deck
- Ease of use
What to Look for to Purchase Baseball Training Equipment
As with other pieces of sports equipment, some of the top attributes for baseball training equipment remains the same:
For baseball in particular, we suggest you consider the following also:
- Size of overall package. If you already collected a pile of gear to help coaching, it might be wise to skip the huge packages like hitting nets. (Which should have been among the first purchases anyway). If it’s a bulky item, see how it folds up.
- Shape of package. Some items are bulky when used but quite easy to haul around and store. Know what the item will look like all packed up, whether in a carry bag, or all strapped down.
- Transportability, as in, does it come with a carrying bag? And if so, does it have an adjustable shoulder strap? What is the bag made of? Is it waterproof? These carrying bags take a beating getting thrown into cars, or around the field.
- Construction. Look closely at how training items are constructed, especially for those made by off-brand companies, or brand new models.
- Capacity. Make sure things like the sock (open hold with a pouch at bottom to hold hit balls) on hitting nets are large enough to meet your needs.
We cannot emphasize enough to inspect models for hints of superior durability ~ these training items are used a lot and repeatedly and poorly made ones are prone to failure.
Finally, think carefully about your environment, and what a baseball training equipment piece is made of. Do you live where it rains often, or fields are otherwise moist? Then leather would be preferred over mesh or synthetics, both to protect body parts and also for durability.
Other elements to consider when purchasing these items is temperature (very hot or very cold?); dry (which can crack leather that is moistened too much); winds (will it fly away with a big gust?); dirt; mud; grass types; and other impediments like sharp fencing or unusual car trunk shapes.
Today’s baseball players can be quite specialized, but this was not always the case.
For a long time, baseball training required just a glove and cleats, and maybe some catcher’s gear. It involved straightforward emulations of actions performed in games ~ in short, swinging bats and throwing balls as much as possible.
Therefore, batting practice (today often shortened to “BP”) has been a part of baseball training for as long as anyone can remember.
Repetition is huge in the game of baseball, because its key actions are so very difficult to perfect. More so than other major team sports, baseball success depends on precision of execution.
Hitting a hard round object coming at you at a high rate of speed, with a rounded stick, is very hard to do. Hitting such a ball hard is even more difficult.
Successful pitchers not only throw the ball over the plate on the ground, they can change the height, or choose to throw outside or inside of the batter. Being off just an inch can change what the batter will do with the pitch.
Especially in pitching and hitting, missing by even a fraction of an inch can mean all the difference between a solidly hit ball and a pop-up; or from a well-placed low-and-away strike, versus giving up a long extra-base hit, or even a home run.
Probably more so than any other team sport, baseball is indeed a game of inches. Getting that baseball to do exactly what you want it to do requires a lot of skills via muscles, tendons, and the nerves that connect it all.
Repetition creates a memory of the action in the brain and muscles that makes performing baseball actions all the easier. It didn’t take baseball’s earliest practitioners long to figure this out.
With more batting and pitching practice came inventions to assist coaches and players to get better. Of course, the glove itself was a terrific invention, both to help players more easily catch balls, but also to use in practice to perfect the act of catching flying baseballs.
Today, modern technology is heavily involved with the design and construct of these training gear products. Computer analysis is often engaged in swings or pitching motions, to pinpoint actions or muscles that need the most attention.
Besides design, modern baseball training items are made with high-tech materials, or combinations thereof, which helps make them last even after thousands of repetitions. These materials can make training equipment not only stronger, but lighter.
People use the term “space age technology.” Well, that’s exactly what is applied to many items used to train baseball players and other athletes.
Every baseball player, from the littlest tee-baller up to the adults we see on television practice baseball through repetition ~ and do so with training help like hitting tees, or resistance bands, or hitting tees, etc.
Will using these baseball training equipment products make a player better, even enough to progress all the way to Major League Baseball play? Perhaps. Only time and dedication will tell.
Question: Can certain baseball training equipment items actually increase the velocity of pitches?
Answer: Yes, some may, if used properly and repeatedly. However, it is best to temper expectations in this realm. Not every body is built to throw baseballs faster than our creator intended. Just as with use of performance enhancing drugs, too much can cause damage, too.
Q.: Why are some items just for infielders?
A.: Infielders rely on a different set of skills, namely, quick use of their hands to get the ball out of the glove and prepare for throwing to beat sprinting runners. There are many tools designed to improve just that, the glove to hand exchange, and we include a couple on our list.
Q.: What might be useful to train outfielders?
A.: A fungo bat, or contraption that “shoots” balls high into the air for outfielders to run underneath and catch.
Q.: Why is weight such an important factor?
A.: Because carrying a lot of weight to and from fields can be exhausting. It’s not just the weight of an individual baseball training item, but the cumulative weight of all the items a coach uses. Add to that, that some baseball gear is awkwardly shaped, making carrying or fitting it into small trunks difficult. Some coaches also invest in a small wagon that can be folded up to fit inside cars, to use in lugging gear to and from the field of play.
Q.: Why so many nets in baseball training?
A.: Because it gets old, and time-consuming, to chase and gather balls that have been sprayed all over a field by a hitter. Plus, nets provide protection at baseball practices where a lot of fast-moving balls can be flying around at any given moment.