When it comes to honing baseball skills, many former youth players, community leaguers and even major league player started at the same place: Lining up a swing at baseball batting tees. When it comes to teaching the littlest players how to handle a bat, these tools are indispensable. Even seasoned players use them now and again. And while you are busy running drills with your players, it may be worth considering to add in a few tee drills as well to work on batting form and precision.
Top 10 Batting Baseball Tees of 2017
So now that you know why you need one, which one do you need? Here are our top picks.
We’re starting off fancy on our list today, but only because the HitZone Jr is one of the best tees available. The Hit Zone Jr suspends the ball in the air, allowing the stability of a tee without the resistance of actually hitting a stationary object with a bat.
This makes it a perfect tee for very young beginners as they practice aiming and keeping their eye on the ball. This tee is at a slightly higher price point that the others on this list, but you definitely get what you pay for with the Hit Zone. This tech is really cool. Hit Zone makes a few different models of their powered tee and they are all worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive package for batting practice, this tee and net bundle isn’t a bad option. Heck, it’s just a little more expensive than some of the pricey batting tees out there and you’re getting a net to go with it. PowerNet has made both products in this bundle portable: the net comes with a canvas carrying bag and the tee features a foldable tripod design.
The PowerNet package comes in 10 color choices so you can get a professional looking match to your team’s colors. Fortunately, it is easy to set up, not like some of the tents you may have gone camping with and given a good talkin’ to and maybe thrown a kick in there for good measure. This practice tee and net bundle can be used both indoors and outdoors.
3. Tanner Tee
The Tanner tee is one of the more expensive tees on the list, at about $80 US, but it’s also one of those situations where you get what you pay for. It is a pro style tee. It is lightweight for easy travel, but its sturdy construction means it will continue to hold up after thousands of hits. The Tanners also feature a patented tip design, made specifically to ensure that the player feels the ball when they make contact, rather than the tee.
This guy is a well-known staple on the tee-ball field, and for good reason. An affordable price, with it’s simple, sturdy design helps it hold up against thousands of hits, and it travels like a dream. Adjustment is a snap with the MacGregor, making it ideal for families or groups with multiple age players. In addition, it’s sturdy construction ensures that it will stand up to the constant beating of baseball bats.
This tee is super flexible, ensuring that the tee stays upright after each hit. It has a great adjustable range of 30 to 34 inches, but may be a bit high for the very beginning players. Like all the tees on our list, the Franklin breaks down easily and travels well. But best of all, the Franklin is part of a larger line that has tees for every group imaginable, at a very reasonable price point.
The only 5-point tee on our list, the Jugs 5-point comes with two separate tubes of different heights. The Jugs is a great option for helping players learn to hit in a variety of positions and for a variety of pitch styles.
The entire unit breaks down easy and travels well. It also stands up well against hit after hit. It also comes with a 20-page drill book to work on fundamentals and swing performance. Make sure you let us know which tee worked best for you and your team!
This product from SKLZ is a little different than our other top picks in this list. It is what SKLZ calls a more ‘advanced swing trainer’ than batting tee. This is great hitting practice for both baseball and softball players. It has a ton of features that enable you to mimic the variation seen from actual pitchers.
You can adjust ball height to simulate high or low pitches and the four power bands let you increase or decrease tension. Practicing swings on this tee helps build sound muscle memory such as training the hitter to swing and drive all the way through the pitch aggressively, instead of stopping short with an incomplete swing. The bright yellow color reinforces a see the ball, hit the ball mentality.
8. NEW JUGS T
You know anything from JUGS is going to be rock solid in terms of quality. This is an extremely durable pro style tee. The base is constructed using steel and then covered with rubber. That lends to the tee weighing in at a stable 10 pounds.
A big win with this tee is that it folds into itself, making it more portable than many of the tees out there right now. The telescoping stem can be unscrewed from the base for easy storage.
JUGS patented their interlocking bolt design which they say prevents slippage of the upper stem. The NEW JUGS T tee can be quickly adjusted from anywhere to 24 to 46 inches.
If you want to go all out and get what the pro’s use, the SwingAway MVP may be the one you’re looking for. This hitting trainer is supposed to do a better job of simulating an actual pitch. It doesn’t have the stem of the tee getting away or causing unwanted contact. A nice feature is that the ball can be positioned just about anywhere, to mimic the variation of real pitching.
The highlight feature here is the fact that you won’t be chasing any balls. You can get a high number of repetitions in quickly, SwingAway estimates about 100 swings in just 10 minutes. The SwingAway can be used at home in the backyard or garage for example, it can also be used on the practice field.
The SKLZ Hit-A-Way is a hitting trainer designed for players ages 7 and up. It is a collapsible unit and surprisingly portable which makes it ideal for pre-warm ups practice or repetition practice at home. This can be used by both left and right handed hitters and the ball level is height adjustable. This trainer enables the hitter to focus on building quality muscle memory and hitting mechanics, without the need to place a new ball on the tee every rep, nor chase them down once the bucket is empty.
Batting Tee Guide Part I: Benefits of a Quality Batting Tee
But how do you know you are getting the right tee for your team or player? Do you really need tees, anyway?
Short answer: yes, you need a good baseball batting tee. Let’s talk about the most important why’s.
Baseball batting tees have a laundry list of benefits, but let’s go by age and take a look at how a tee can help every level of player, from beginner to advanced.
These little girls and guys are usually between 4 and 6, and this may be the first time they’ve ever had a bat in their hands. Mom and Dad are watching, they are on a team for the first time. It’s a lot of pressure for a little kid. It probably isn’t the best time to also have a ball flying at them.
A tee gives the youngest players a predictable, stable environment to practice swinging and making contact with the ball. It allows a coach or parent to help the child with the very basics, like holding the bat properly and good swing technique.
For the young players, a tee is an absolute must. Every now and again, a coach will encounter a child at this level who hits with natural skill. The vast majority of young players, however, will require the extra stability a tee provides.
Intermediate players, from about age 7 on up to high school can benefit from baseball batting tees. Using a tee at this level takes the beginner benefits and ramps them up to a higher level.
Using a tee, an intermediate player can work on form, build confidence, and practice independently when mom or dad can’t pitch for hours on end. This has the added benefit of giving kids a tool that helps them take responsibility for their own practice time.
This level is for the college-age and community league players. These people know how to hit a ball, they’ve been playing for years, so why a tee? Honestly, because a tee provides unparalleled control to help tweak and improve a swing on the micro level. The adjustable height and positioning help a player anticipate pitch types and prepare for them.
And, just like for intermediate players, when no one is around to pitch a ball for several hours, a tee offers the ability to practice regardless.
Batting Tee Guide Part II: What to Look for Before Buying a Batting Tee
All baseball batting tees are not created equal. You need to look at a few things to make sure you are getting the best tee possible.
- Craftsmanship – Ensure that the materials are quality and the workmanship sturdy and well-done.
- Durability – How many bats will hit this tee? How many players will it have to serve? A good tee needs to stand up to the constant abuse of practice and play.
- Travel – Worthiness – Tees aren’t meant to stay stationary. A good one should break down well and go back together easily.