Major League Baseball season got underway a few weeks ago and high school, Little Leagues and rec programs are now following suit. To ensure your lil' slugger doesn't get labeled as one of the worst ball players in recent memory at tryouts, warm him at the plate behind the Joe Mauer Batting Trainer.
When I played ball as a kid, I had one or two coaches that swore by the technique of tossing up wiffle balls one after the other for us to bat into the backstop. I always thought batting so close to the coach was dangerous, but no one ever got injured and at least one of those coaches was in charge of the best team I ever played on. So there might be something to it.
And the fact that perennial MVP candidate Joe Mauer uses much the same method supports it. His machine essentially takes the place of coach, providing the same timing, eye coordination and precision training for the batter. The machine drops balls at 6-, 8- or 10-second intervals, letting the batter swing through and fine-tune his skills. The device helps batters with reflexes, patience, swing speed and batting mechanics.
The included trampoline can double as a soft-toss trainer for batting and a fielding trainer for helping double-play-style glove-to-throw mechanics.
At $80, the Joe Mauer Batting Trainer costs less than a lot of bats and promises to have an even greater impact on your game. The trainer holds 12 baseballs or eight softballs and is height-adjustable.