Baseball Pitching Screens: Protect Yourself from a Hospital Visit

Baseball Pitching Screens header image

Baseball Pitching Screens

 

Hey listen, I get it.

We both feel the same about it.

Hospital visits are no fun – especially if you’re the one on the receiving end of a ball to [insert your body part here].

It’ll bring even the manliest of men to their knees with tears.

So it’s imperative you protect yourself (or your pitchers) in practice. Without being too dramatic about it, I’m sure you’ll agree your life almost depends on it!

So what’s the best course of action? By investing in a pitching screen – a portable one if possible…

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A properly thought-out investment in a pitching screen;

  • Can Protect Your Pitcher (Or Yourself!): So you actually feel
  • Is Portable: So you can carry it too and from practice with relative ease
  • Is Sturdy and Durable: So you don’t spend unnecessary amounts of money replacing broken parts
  • Great Value for Money: So you don’t pay over the odds for it
  • And, does what YOU need it to do: There are 3 types of pitching screens on the market – choosing the right type for you is imperative

 

 Here’s a little more detail on the types of pitching screens on the market at the moment….

There are 3 types of pitching screens on the market:

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#1: L-Screen Pitching Screens

  • L-shaped in design
  • Have been around the longest
  • Allows you to pitch the ball over the ‘drop’ section of the net whilst still protecting the majority of the body. Have the option of full protection by simply sidestepping into the frames view.

Benefits

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Can be used with taller standing pitching machines
  • Frames can come in multiple sizes
  • Cheap and expensive alternatives available

Cons

  • Tends to be the heavier out of the 3 pitching screen frames
  • Some models require lots of screws and bolts before they can be used
  • Not the most portable out of our 3 frame designs
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Easton Collapsible L-Screen vs Forstress L-Screen

 

Easton Collapsible L-Screen Review

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Easton Collapsible L-Screen
144 Reviews
Easton Collapsible L-Screen
The Easton Collapsible L-Screen is by far one of the more popular pitching screens on the current market.
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In Short:

  • 50 lbs: For added weight and stability
  • Configured Opening: So you can switch between right or left handed pitching
  • Collapsible Frame: So you can store and transport it better
  • Measures 41 x 42 x 4 inches: When collapsed
  • Approx 6.5 ft Tall: To protect most pitchers
  • Easy to Assemble: So you can get training started quickly in under 2 minutes
  • Durable: So it can stand up to the hardest of hits and provide great value for money in the long-term

 

Coming in at 50lbs however makes it not only the one of the heaviest pitching screens out there, but potentially the least portable too.

So what’s the positives? Well, we’ll start with the weight first..

50lbs puts it at the higher end of the scale in comparison to all the other pitching screens I’ve reviewed. And, while this would be a ridiculous weight for say pop up A-screen – the weight of the Easton Collapsible is exactly what makes it so sturdy and durable.

Any lighter, and it wouldn’t serve its purpose.

What’s ultra-nifty about this L-Screen is its ability to fold however…

No longer do you have to struggle with moving an awkward, heavy and bulky piece of equipment.. The Easton folds up to a decent sized; 41 x 42 x 4 inches which can fit in the back of your truck or, with a little ‘tuck and squeeze’ into most cars.

This feature alone makes a heavy, sturdy pitching screen, all of a sudden portable.

Stand on the taller side of life? At 5ft 8 inches I can’t say have many ‘tall people problems’ but I do understand keeping your head safe, is universal across all heights..

The Easton Collapsible stands at around 6 ft 5 inches, so even the tallest of giants can stay away of hospital visit.

For a large piece of equipment, it’s also got a pretty quick set up time. Unfold, slide your 3 sleeves that secure it into place and you’re ready to go.

Unfortunately, on the downside it doesn’t seem to offer the wheels with the newer models. I’m not quite sure as it would seem like a logical addition.

Nothing is stopping you however in purchasing a wheel-set and installing it yourself – yes, it’s a bit out of the way if you want to use your pitching machine straight away, but it is an option.

Overall though…

With a quick setup time, a clever design to make it transportable, protection for taller pitchers people and sturdiness to provide sound protection – the benefits far offsets any additional weight it brings to the table.

Best Suited for?

  • Older and more advanced players
  • Coaches who need to use it across multiple venues

Possible Drawbacks

  • No wheels on the newer models
  • Heavier than most other pitching screens

 

Fortress L-Screen Review

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Fortress L-Screen
88 Reviews
Fortress L-Screen
While it does comes in cheaper than the Easton Collapsible L-Screen, the Fortress unfortunately isn’t as portable as its competitor.
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In short;

  • 7 x 7: Surface area with a drop of 42 Inches
  • 5 Inch Metal Tubing: For added durability
  • Weather Resistant Coating: If you need to use it
  • Metal Clip Assemble: For added stability, quick setup and disassemble
  • Suitable for Left and Right Handed Pitchers: By simply turning the screen round

 

Another popular pitching screen among coaches is the Fortress L-Screen.

With no fold-up design you might find yourself purchasing this L-screen if you’re looking to keep it at one venue without moving it round too much.

It’ll fit nicely into most batting cages and will hold it’s own against even the hardest of line drives.

For assembling the pitching screen, line up the poles to their required holes and slide them down until each one clips into place and you’re ready to go – pretty simple. To take it down, unclip the clips and slide the poles out.

Word of warning however, talking from experience, I find the types of clips found on the Fortress (and other equipment ranging across multiple sports and multiple companies) tend to become less ‘responsive’ the more you use them or leave them outside in the rain.

So much so, when you want to use your pitching screen in the middle of the winter – you might find your fingers comings off worse!

Once way to combat this is to give your pitching screen (whatever screen you might choose) a little TLC. A little bit cleaning and some lubricant now and again will do your pitching screen the world of good – and of course, prolong it’s ‘life’.

The Fortress also comes with a water resistant coating which is nice additional feature. While I wouldn’t recommened leaving it out side permantly, it certainly give your ease of mind if you need to take cover from heavy rain conditions.

It may not be as portable as the Easton Collapsible, but it’s still as durable and will do it’s job of protecting your machine and your pitchers.

 

Best Suited for;

  • Indoors
  • Coaches looking to use a pitching screen at one venue

Possible Drawbacks

  • Not the most portable pitching screen
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#2: ‘I’ or ‘A- Screen’ Pitching Screens

  • The ‘I’ of the ‘A’ shaped pitching screens are slightly different in shape and design but still hold a very similar purpose.
  • These tend to be newer in design than the L-frame alternative.

Benefits

  • Tends to be more portable than it’s L-frame counterpart
  • Tend to weigh far less than L-frames
  • Some models built with a pop-up feature design
  • Quick set up times
  • Most models comes with a carry case for added portability
  • Nets and frames can double up for other uses too
  • Cheap and expensive options available

Cons

  • Tends to be less durable than L-frames
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Powernet Portable Pitching Screen Bundle

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Powernet Portable Pitching Screen (Bundle)
19 Reviews
Powernet Portable Pitching Screen (Bundle)
A little bit different from all the other deals I’ve listed here. Powernet are currently offering both their A-screen and their DLX practice net as bundle.
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In Short:

  • Bundle: So you can increase the value while saving yourself a bit of money
  • A-Screen Portable Pitching Screen:
  • Team Colors Available: Wide Variety of Colors Available
  • Carry Bag Included: For additional portability

Let’s start with the A-screen…

The screen is perfect for coaches working with younger players – strong, durable and ultra-portable to handle line drives for most players under 12 years old.

It’s a got a quick setup time – just click the poles into place, feed the poles through the netting, attach the netting to the frame and click the legs into place to give it stability. Taking it down is even quicker.

It also comes with a carry bag which allows you to not only easily transport and carry the net around different venues, but also preseves the netting a little more from  catching onto random objects wherever you decide to store it.

One caveat though, the carry bag doesn’t seem to be as durable as the net does. It’s something I’ve encountered across multiple products in multiple sports.

If the bag is something that you need, I’[d exercise an air of caution when packing your net away. Failing that, you could pick up something similar that’s a little more durable for the long-term.

For the most part the net stands on it own and as I mentioned above, it’ll handle most hits from younger players – I wouldn’t recommend using it for older  and more advanced players and you might find the net swaying a little in the wind.

One way to combat this is to purchase a set of weighted sandbags to keep the frame in place and still provide full protection for your pitcher.

Finally, the net comes in a wide variety of colors;

  • Black
  • Green
  • Maroon
  • Navy
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Sky Blue
  • And finally, Yellow

…so it should have you sorted whatever your teams colors are. Not an essential feature that will likely have much impact on the quality of protection but, it’s a nice addition and theres no two-ways about it – training looks far more professional when theres a congruency between players, coaches and the equipment they use.

Overall a great little net that will provide the protection you need.

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#3: Pitch Through Pitching Screens

  • Pitch through screens have an opening or ‘clearing’ within the net
  • This holes allows you to not only pitch the ball yourself under full protection but also allows you to use a pitching machine to throw the balls
  • This protects both you and the machine you’ve likely spent a good deal of money on

Benefits

  • Full protection for you and machine
  • Comes in various sizes
  • Cheap and expensive options available
  • Great if you coach or have players playing softball
  • Some models tend to be very portable with pop up design

Cons

  • If pitching the balls yourself – the Pitch through ‘clearing’ will probably hamper the types of pitches you can throw
  • Might need to purchase a set of sandbags (or use something heavy) to keep the frame in place when using in bad weather.

 

Powernet 7×7 Pitch-Thru Screen Review

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Powernet 7x7 Pitch-Thru Screen
33 Reviews
Powernet 7x7 Pitch-Thru Screen
The Powernet 7x7 comes in as the cheapest option of the two pitch-through nets we reviewed. A relatively newcomer on the market, the Powernet 7x7 is not only big enough to protect your pitcher from any incoming balls, but also comes with the added benefit of being able to pitch both left and right handed pitches.
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In short;

  • Fiberglass Frame: So it can absorb impact of incoming balls
  • Multi-Hand Pitch Option: Easily pitch from left or right arm
  • Fits 7×7 Frames: For universal fit across all Powernet 7×7 Baseball and Softball Frames
  • Quick Setup and Assembly: So you can save more time in preparation for practice
  • Lightweight: Coming in at 13.2lbs
  • Carry Case Included: To make transporting and carrying your net round easier

As briefly mentioned above, the Powernet (and the Bownet as we’ll go into more detail on below) pitch-through screens are perfect pitching screens if you’ve got a machine at your disposal.

Set the machine up just behind the opening in the net, dial in the settings and let the machine do the work.

The Powernet also comes in lighter than the Bownet at 13.2lbs, and while this is only marginally lighter, if it’s small weight differences you’re looking for then the Powernet might be the best option.

Finally, if you already own a Powernet 7×7 frame you’re in luck. Powernet offer the option of just purchasing the net on it’s own which can be used with any of their 7×7 frames – which can save you a few dollars to invest elsewhere. Note however, that Powernet do not provide a carry case with this offer.

Newcomer to Powernet frames? No problem, you’ll get the net, frame and carry case included, which can make it far easier to transport and carry to and from the field.

Possible Drawbacks

  • Might not be as durable as the Bownet (more on that below)
  • Carry case not included with net only deal

Best Suited For;

  • Younger players

 

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