Training tools and equipment can be a fun and engaging addition to a baseball player’s training regimen. But, if you’ve ever spent a few minutes searching the internet for them, you’d know there are hundreds of different hitting trainers out there.
No hitting trainer is going to be a fix-all for a hitter. However, if it is a well designed piece of equipment, a good training aid will undoubtedly help that hitter get a better feel for what they are doing.
A good baseball hitting training aid works because it provides an external feedback that the hitter can feel or see. The hitter uses that feedback to quickly make adjustments in their swing.
We’ve picked out some of our very favorites, that do just that. We’re confident that any one of these five tools in this review will be worth purchasing and will help your hitters get a better feel for their own swing.
Top 5 Best Baseball Hitting Training Aids for 2018
What is it? – SwingRail was named 2017 ACBA Collegiate Baseball Best in Show. It is made of two pieces. One piece (the rail) straps to your bat, just above your top hand. The other piece (the elastic band) is strapped around the bicep of your back arm near your armpit. The elastic band then slides over the rail to connect the two pieces. When the hitter swings, the elastic band should smoothly slide off of the rail. If the velcro connection is pulled apart during the swing, the hitter knows they are “casting” their hands away from their body.
Why we like it – “Casting” is one of the most common swing flaws among youth hitters. Casting is when a hitter’s hands extend away from their body and over the plate during their swing, creating a long, slow swing that goes around the ball. This product gives immediate external feedback when a hitters hands start to cast away from their body and helps hitters stay inside of the ball.
Pros: Addresses an issue that almost every young hitter has in their swing. Helps create the feel of staying inside of the ball.
Cons: Only recommended for players age 9 and up. One-size-fits all design may create an issue for smaller kids.
Price at time of publication: $29.99 + Shipping
What is it? – The Insider Bat is made of aluminum and steel. The shaft of the bat is bent at a slight angle just above the handle. There is a flat “sweet spot” at the end of the bat where the hitter must make contact. Comes in 2 sizes. Size 06 is designed for players 12 & under. Size 07 is designed for players 12 & up.
Why we like it – It is virtually impossible to make solid contact with certain mechanical flaws. The hitter’s grip, hand, and bath path must be correct to hit a ball solid on the sweet spot.
Pros: One of the most positively reviewed training devices available online. Easy to use. Just pick it up and swing it.
Cons: Cannot be used with hard balls and does not come with any softer balls. You’ll need to purchase them separately. May get boring for a young kid who already struggles with making contact.
Price at time of publication: $49.00 + free shipping
What is it? – The PowerUp Wedge a rubber wedge that goes on a hitter’s back foot, and is secured by a one-size fits all velcro strap. It is designed to help a hitter learn to use ground forces and get the proper drive off their back foot.
Why we like it – The term “squish the bug” has been used by coaches for decades, but it actually promotes an inefficient move with the lower body during the swing. With the PowerUp Wedge on, it will be difficult to “squish the bug.” While wearing the wedge, hitters will learn naturally how to transfer more energy from their back side to and through the ball.
Pros: Small and easy to carry with you anywhere. Simplicity in its use. You can put it on and forget about it. Can be used to learn proper use of lower body in throwing as well.
Cons: It takes some care to keep it on your foot. You may need to adjust and tighten it after every few swings.
Price at time of publication: $39.99 + Free Shipping
Rope Bat Hitting System
What is it? – The Rope Bat is exactly what it sounds like, a bat made of rope. It is knotted at each end and has a foam pad that you use to hit the ball. The system uses centrifugal force to provide instant feedback to the hitter. You can hit wiffle balls, tennis balls or foam balls with it.
Why we like it – If you understand the science behind the swing, you can immediately understand why the Rope Bat is such an ingenious idea. It promotes proper kinetic movements and immediately gives the hitter feedback. As a hitting instructor, I can tell you that proper kinetic sequencing is the most difficult concept to teach young hitters. This tool takes the teaching out of it. The hitter can now feel their way to using their body in the right order, from the ground up.
Pros: Length is easily adjusted to fit user. Simple design makes it quick and easy to use.
Cons: Can’t hit hard balls with it. This one is a little pricey compared to our other selections.
Price at time of publication: $84.95 (Youth), $89.95 (HS and Adult) + Free Shipping
What is it? – Line Drive Pro Trainer is a device that mounts to the hitter’s bat. It is designed to hold a Line Drive Pro Trainer ball or a tennis ball. When the hitter swings, the ball gets thrown from the device toward a target. The target is sold separately (or you can easily make your own). In order to control where the ball is thrown, hitters must have proper hand and bat path in their swing.
Why we like it – The simplicity is what makes Line Drive Pro Trainer so great. The product allows hitters to be completely natural, and just swing that bat to receive immediate feedback. Nothing is strapped to their body and they get to use their own bat. For coaches, Line Drive Pro Trainer could be an easy, hands-off station at practice that keeps players engaged. Buy or make a target and turn it into a competition. Your players will look forward to using it at every practice. Who doesn’t love a game of target practice?!
Pros: Simple and fun. Great for players of all ages and skill levels. Easy to use and needs little explanation.
Cons: Only comes with 3 balls. May be wise to purchase a bucket of cheap tennis balls to go with product.
Price at time of publication: $49.99 + Free Shipping
Your hitter in need some additional help? Check out these 5 hand picked, essential hitting drills that any hitter can use to improve!