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Almost all major league baseball players have started at the same level – honing those skills on the practice diamonds late into the afternoon hitting balls off a batting tee, perfecting and working on their swing. Almost all coaches will employ the use of batting tees to practice with their players as it is a great way to critique and work on a player’s swing. In fact, a lot of professional ballplayers even at the major league level will continue to use batting tees. Although there is nothing that can replace facing live pitching, many benefits can still be obtained by working with a batting tee.
With so many professional players benefiting from the use of batting tees, more and more recreational players and coaches are beginning to introduce them into their practice times, especially when working specifically with a player who may be trying to tweak his or her swing. Let’s explore a little more about why batting tees are helpful, followed with a look at five tees we recommend for the upcoming season.
Why Should I Use A Batting Tee?
The biggest benefit of using a batting tee is that you can practice all on your own, without the use of live pitching. Often it can be difficult to find someone to pitch to you for hours on end, so it can be easier to use a batting tee which reduces the need for a pitcher. A live pitcher can be good, but using a real pitcher subjects the hitter to the inconsistencies and errancy of live pitching – not every pitch will be a strike, and a lot of time is wasted in waiting for the ‘right’ pitch.
The batting tee ensures that each pitch is consistent in the same location, at the same height, at the same depth. This is a big benefit, as it saves much time and allows the batter to truly focus on their swing and proper mechanics.
The use of a batting tee also enables the batter to focus on hitting the ball in a specific location. For example, they can practice hitting just the bottom half of the ball if they want to get a bit more lift on their swing. They can practice hitting the top half of the ball if they want to knuckle the ball and create backspin. They can focus on hitting the inside and outside of the ball as well, which will enable the batter to hit to the opposite field or pull it to the strong side. If you have never analysed your swing for proper contact points, you are likely not realizing the full potential of your swing.
Simply taking swings in a batting cage is not beneficial if all a batter is doing is reinforcing bad swing habits and poor mechanics. Players will simply not become better hitters without doing proper tee work and working on their swing.
What Should I look For In A Batting Tee?
For those looking to purchase a new batting tee, here are some things you should look for:
- Durability: you will want a tee that can withstand the wears and tears of many seasons.
- Portability: find something that is lightweight enough that it can be moved easily.
- Adjustability: look for something that you can raise and lower easily.
- Construction: materials used in construction are important and will have a direct impact on durability and useful life
Product Reviews – Which Is Right For You?
Below are five batting tees we recommend for the new season:
MacGregor is up first on the list with a nice little batting tee that has become a favorite of coaches all across the country. The MacGregor tee features durable rubber with a reinforced inner tube that provides strong form and structure. The weight is a very reasonable 13 pounds, which is important for coaches who have to carry around a lot of equipment. Adjustable to heights ranging from 20-40 inches, it will grow with the player. Priced fairly low, this is a good bang for your buck tee.
- Constructed fully from thick, durable rubber – no plastic parts that are easily breakable.
- Durable and will not crack if hit with a bat.
- Portable and fairly easy to move (weighs 13 pounds).
- Can be quickly assembled and adjusted from a height of 20-40 inches.
- Metal base ensures it will stay put.
- Can be used with both metal and wood baseball bats.
- Priced reasonably, not too expensive.
- Does not come with instructions to put it together.
A nice batting tee from MacGregor that provides good durability in a simple design, this will be a winner for your team this season.
The Tanner Baseball Tee is a two-part constructed tee that features an adjustable stem and a heavy-duty base. The two-piece design enables it to be disassembled and transported separately for easy portability and storage. It comes with a one-year warranty and is made by Tanner which is family owned and runs out of the USA.
- Adjustable from 23 to 46 inches.
- Two-part construction with stem that can be adjusted combined with a strong durable base.
- Can be disassembled to fit into equipment bags.
- Comes with a 9×9” base.
- Flex top (hand-rolled) means the bat can make maximum contact without damaging the tee.
- Suitable for both baseball and softball.
- Made in the USA.
- One-year guarantee.
- Not great for smaller and younger players, recommended age is 9 and older.
Nice choice from Tanner that doesn’t break the bank. The flex-top technology will protect bats from mishits where other firmer tees might do some damage.
Rawlings has taken a different approach to the batting tee, with a tripod design that differs from traditional tees that only offer a single stem. The result is a tee that is a bit more sturdy and balanced, with the ball unlikely to get knocked off the tee by a strong gust of wind. The height is adjustable from 28 to 44 inches and the tripod design means this batting tee can be quite portable and easy to pack up and move. This makes it a fantastic option for coaches who do not have much time to set up batting practice and need something that they can take along with them without much hassle.
- Priced reasonably, affordable for most budgets.
- Solid metal frame with good design.
- Collapses very easily, similar to a music stand – great for coaches and players on the go.
- Starts at 28 inches, so better for taller players and older kids.
- Tripod design includes a clamp on the bottom but unfortunately this piece is made of plastic.
Fantastic design makes this a must-have for any player or coach who values space in their equipment bag and wants to save set-up and take-down time. Easy to collapse with clamps that open and close with minimal effort, this batting tee is ready to go once you are.
SKLZ makes the list with their batting tee that has five default positions that is adjustable to help batters work on hitting inside, outside and middle pitches. It’s quite easy to change the position of the stem, as you simply move it to whichever base hole you would like to connect it to. The rubber is fairly durable and the base feels heavy and sturdy.
- Multiple mounting positions to help young hitters work on different types of swings.
- Base is heavy and sturdy, will not fall over easily.
- Adjustable from 20 to 34 inches.
- Stem can be stored in the center of home plate.
- Solid rubber construction with built in handle.
- Home plate is standard sized and good for all leagues.
- Not as portable as some other options.
- Post attaches to the base quite loosely, would prefer sturdier connection.
SKLZ has made a very fine batting tee here that is great if you want to help batters work on hitting pitches in different locations but don’t want to move the tee relative to home plate. This will help train batters to recognize pitch location and work on how to adjust their swing accordingly.
Franklin’s batting tee is constructed from PVC and is adjustable from 20 to 34 inches. As a result, it may not be great for teaching batters how to hit high pitches but a great choice for those just starting out. The PVC construction to hold the ball enables the batter to make good contact without risking damage to the bat. The design also helps deflect bat momentum which ensures the tee does not tip over.
- Snap and twist to assemble, easy construction and tear-down after practice.
- Plate is weighted and not likely to tip over.
- PVC construction, tee unlikely to tip over.
- Adjustable from 22 to 34 inches.
- Not suitable for older / taller players, as the 34” maximum height will not be tall enough for some players.
- Imported, not made in the USA.
A great batting tee from Franklin Sports made from PVC to protect the bat while offering good durability and sturdiness. Good for those who don’t need a tall height and are looking for something that will last a few seasons.
All the batting tees on our list above are great options for coaches and players alike, and none of them are too expensive that they will price buyers out of the market. We really like the Rawlings tripod design as it is a great batting tee for coaches who want something portable and lightweight.