When a baseball player steps up to the plate, they have one objective: strike the ball out into the field in a way that optimizes his or her chances to make it to first base or beyond. Optimizing your capacity to strike the ball takes hours of practice a week, but when practicing, there lies an inherently different context - you actually want to get those balls back to you as quickly as possible. That's why the best form of batting practice often takes place in a batting cage, where the balls are easily returned and the batter doesn't have to go on routine chasing adventures.
Whether the batter is a professional adult, a city leaguer, or a 6-year-old kid, practicing batting has little to do with catching the hits and more to do with keeping more balls in proximity so he or she can continue practicing. A proper batting cage will offer features that suit the needs of the batter, which is why we carry a range of products with a variety of features intended to improve the experience of practicing America's proverbial pastime.
When looking for the best batting cage, you should consider some basic features. A typical batting cage is comprised of the frame and the netting. We offer frames made of solid fiberglass and a blend of steel and fiberglass. An entirely fiberglass frame is nice and flexible, which will bend and bow in windy conditions. If you are purchasing a batting cage so your child or teen can practice, you can safely bet that their hits aren't going to compromise the integrity of a completely fiberglass frame--they're just not going to hit hard enough to really require the added stability of steel. Furthermore, fiberglass frames are easier to set up, which is great for simple family practice in your backyard. However, if you plan on taking a couple swings yourself, or if you're on a city league with some of your buddies, you might want to lean toward the blend of steel and fiberglass. Typically, the core arches are made of steel for added durability, with the middle arch being made of fiberglass. This ensures that your frame will stand the test of time, but that the middle of the frame will give a little in response to gusts of wind. In other words, if you're going to be batting with the goal of swinging the ball out of the park come game-time, browse our steel-fiberglass blends to make sure you can use the batting cage season after season.
After you've decided on your frame, spend some time considering which netting material will best suit your needs. You have the choice of selecting batting cage netting made from polyethylene, nylon, and polypropylene. All of these netting types are at their core made of plastic, which means that they're reasonably affordable, lighter, and more flexible than metal netting. And although you'd think that a "harder" material would be more durable, that isn't the case when it comes to striking hard objects against it over and over again. You want batting cage netting that will give a little, and one that won't crack or rust over time. Polyethylene is highly flexible and resistant to colder temperatures, while polypropylene and nylon will last better in hotter environments. Polypropylene will withstand degradation by water, while nylon is more resistant to UV rays and exposure to potentially corrosive chemicals. Consider also the thickness of the netting. Smaller netting may add to the overall cost but is thicker and more durable to larger netting. For example, 1" netting is twice as strong as 2" netting, making it great for older teenagers' and adults' usage. If you're training your youngster how to strike a ball, 2" netting will do the trick and might help you keep things thrifty.
We offer a wide range of batting cage sizes. The basic difference to be aware of is length - our smaller lengths, like a 12 ft long cage, is most suitable for lighter weighted balls and less intense swings. You might damage a shorter batting cage if you're an active, adult baseball player. Basically, the harder you bat, the longer you want your batting cage to be. That said, a 24 ft long batting cage won't make that much difference over a 30 ft long cage, so really it all depends on how much space you have when it comes time to install the equipment.
So, there you have it! Our basic features can be found across our wide range of batting cages, and we are happy to provide you with this little background on the differences and benefits of each element. We hope it makes your search for the perfect batting cage a little more straightforward and informed.