Alberta Collegiate Baseball Foundation and the Prospects Academy introduced only one of two ProBatter pitching machines to Canada in September of 2008. Prospects Academy Head Coach Cam Houston says "The ProBatter has been an intregral part to our hitters development. It allows them to face big league stuff, which prepares them better, and makes it an easier transition into collogiate or professional baseball."
Fri, Mar 13, 2009 (2 a.m.)
ProBatter Professional PX2, a pitching simulator developed by ProBatter Sports. The simulator is being used by several major league teams.
What separates this machine from other pitching simulators is the combination of computer and video technology that almost perfectly duplicates big league hitting conditions.
“We developed the PX2 to meet the demands of ballplayers and organizations at the highest levels of the game,” said Adam Battersby (yes, that’s his real name), executive president of ProBatter Sports. “The system represents a further advancement of our patented ProBatter technology and is the most sophisticated pitching simulator available anywhere.”
The list of major league teams that use the PX2 includes the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.
The machine can deliver virtually any type of pitch a human can: fastballs, sinkers, cutters, splitters, curves, sliders, screwballs, slurves and changeups. Batters can choose between nine selectable zones inside or outside of the strike zone.
The unit includes an 8-by-10 projection screen on which a DVD-quality image of a real pitcher is displayed and can be set to simulate either a right-hander or southpaw. It can throw from either a full windup or the stretch position.
ProBatter machines are not just for major league-caliber players, however.
The machine can be programmed to deliver pitches anywhere from 40 to 100 mph and can also be used for softball. It is designed for players of all ages who want to raise the level of their game.
The simulator also can project the image of a female pitcher for softball or a child for Little League batters.
In fact, ProBatter is in existence today because Battersby couldn’t hit a curveball as a kid.
His father, a patent attorney, was not satisfied with the quality of pitching machines available and thought that if he could develop a machine that would more accurately simulate real pitching, young Adam would benefit.
The years of developing programs, tinkering and constant improvements have paid off big for the Battersbys as ProBatter machines have become recognized as among the best in the sport. The company is now in its 10th year of manufacturing commercial batting cages and has 250 machines nationwide, three at the On-Deck academy.
One thing, however, has not changed.
“I still can’t hit a curveball,” Battersby said.
Andy Concepcion, owner of the On Deck Baseball Academy, said he wanted the machines at his new facility because he recognized there was a need for professional batting equipment in Las Vegas.
“Baseball is big here,” Concepcion said. “We have the (Las Vegas) 51s (the Toronto Blue Jays triple-A affiliate), the college teams, and some major leaguers live here in the offseason.”