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Pitching Simulator Helps Baseball Players Of All Ages Get Ready For Season

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12-year-old Austin Howell in the batting cage (credit: CBS)

12-year-old Austin Howell in the batting cage (credit: CBS)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s basketball and hockey season right now, but baseball is right around the corner and it’s time to get ready.

At Hit Streak in Centennial CBS4’s Gary Miller found local players sharpening their swings and their batting eyes with the help of the Pro Batter Pitching Simulator. It’s as close to real pitching a batter can get.

“It will throw any pitch at any speed at any location,” Hit Streak owner and coach Scott Vatter said. “So if they want to face a fastball away, they can set it up for that. They can set it up for a curveball, they can go changeup, they can face a left-handed pitcher or right-handed pitcher.

“There’s also a mode on the system that kind of puts you in game mode where it will bury whatever pitches you want it to throw and just kind of switch it up on you to give you that game-like experience.”

Daniel Butler is in high school now, but he’ll soon be headed to California to play college ball at the University of San Francisco.

“It has definitely helped a lot. I’ve been going to Hit Streak for about six years now, so just having that long-time experience and being able to come in here; it’s helped a ton with my hitting throughout the year,” Butler said.

He was hitting pitches that topped out at 86 miles per hour and Butler says he’s getting used to it now.

Austin Howell is 12. The Pro Batter works for him as well.

“Defense has always kind of come a little bit natural to me; and offense, just the guys at Hit Streak and (Pro Batter) have definitely gotten me a lot better,” Howell said. “I used to hit … a couple years ago hit almost last in the lineup and now I’m around first.”

CBS4's Gary Miller in the batting cage (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Gary Miller in the batting cage (credit: CBS)

But the Pro Batter can’t work miracles as Gary Miller found out after giving it a try.

“I would say it’s probably more designed for a professional or high-level ball player because of the different pitches that it offers and the speed at which it offers them,” Vatter said. “Most young players, they only need a fastball at 45 miles per hour. But as a high school, college or professional player; that’s when you start seeing pitches, and unless you’re in a game situation, you never see them.”

LINK: Hit Streak

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