There is no doubt that the best way to sharpen baseball batting skills is by practicing as much as possible. Due to paucity of time and energy, playing full- fledged matches is not always possible. The next best option to overcome batting flaws is to practice within a small space, within a limited time. There are a number of contraptions available in the market that can help make batting practice easier. They are called batting cages, and you can pick one best suited to you (there is also the option to use golf hitting nets which is cheaper but we recommend using batting cages for the best result).
Batting cages are spaces bounded by nets where baseball players can hone their batting skills. A cage meant for batting confines the balls within the enclosed space after it has been hit. It offers player’s convenience, as there is no having to chase after the balls, wasting precious time and energy. Players can freely take more swings than they would normally do, during practice in an open ground. These cages are perfect for practice sessions, where individuals and teams can concentrate on their hitting techniques. These cages give the players enough opportunity to enhance their batting skills. This simple set–up offers much convenience, as most cages can be placed anywhere; in the backyard or a sports ground, making practicing much easier. There are smaller batting cages as well that are designed for use indoors or wherever there is constraint of space.
Batting cages, are made of nylon and poly netting. They are usually shaped like tunnels and poles are used to hold the netting in place. The height of most cages is a standard 12′. They are used primarily for hitting practice. The batter stands on one end of the cage facing a pitcher or an automatic pitching machine.
Batting cages are commercially available in different models that vary in style and size.
Long Life Batting Cage
The 54′ by 15′ cage is 12′ high. This cage is just right for the backyard and can be fitted in a large basement as well. The small sized cage is designed for younger boys to practice their hits in. There is enough room in it to get the hit right. These cages are ideal for installing in homes and aspiring players can use them for practice when possible.
As the name suggests this cage is portable and meant for backstops. They can me moved to different locations. The cage is 16′ by 15′ and is not as huge as the long life cage, yet it offers enough practice opportunity. This item is intended to keep the ball from escaping into the distance behind the player. It also provides protection to the coach, who can stand directly behind the player to watch and comment on the style of batting.
Portable Batting Cages
These are moveable cages that are popular with teams, who use them on the playing field during practice. They are available in different shapes and sizes. They are usually semi-circular in shape and shield the area on the sides and behind the player. The cage, which is actually a net, prevents the ball from moving towards the backstop. Hence, there is no requirement for a catcher to chase ball.
The small and slightly curved cages are used by players to strike the balls into. They are more like a screen meant to be placed in front of the players. They block balls and prevent them from travelling far, when a player hits out straight.
Free Standing Batting Cage
If conditions of a real baseball game are to be replicated then the free standing cage is ideal. The cage is huge and provides realistic space to a pitcher to pitch the ball to the batter. At 70′ by 17′ 5″ it has enough room to stimulate an actual feel of being pitched in a baseball field. Seasoned players prefer this cage for practice sessions because of its size.
Automated Batting Cages
A professional batting cage is more sophisticated as compared to all the others. It comes with a pitching machine and the floor has a slight gradient that allows balls to roll back automatically into the pitching machines. Soft balls are used for automatic pitching instead of standard leather jacket ones.
Batting cages can be bought online and cost anywhere between $500 and $1200 depending on the model. This price is excluding the charge for the netting. The netting needs to be purchased separately and the cost can range from $400 to $1000 depending on the quality and material used.
The installation, of batting cages, is quite easy. The poles need to be firmly planted into the ground and the netting tightly secured around the poles.