I bought the Franklin MLB 2 in 1 Target and Return Trainer after reading reviews on the internet. My intentions were to help my 8 year old practice for baseball, without breaking the bank (especially if he didn't like it).
Description:The pitch return is adjustable for pop ups to line drives, even grounders if you hit it wrong! As for the back side (the catcher--Pitch Target), it is average. The hooks to hold it on the frame are looser so it does not stay on very well, and the bag which collects the balls needs more snaps on the bottom part (the catch bag snaps inside the hole where the balls come out) because the balls currently roll UNDER the bag rather than into it. But, even so, it works very well for pitching practice. We have made adjustments ourselves for these issues. We do not leave it out in the rain, so I don't know about the rust complaints I have read in other reviews. It does collapse so you can put it right up next to a wall. It has 4 spikes that you can put into the ground to balance it, but we have yet to tip it over so we have not bothered with the spikes. It has markings on the angle adjustment poles so both sides are easily kept even. Set up was not hard and can be done by one adult without any problems or taking a long time. It is also very light weight for moving into and out of the garage. The quality seems just fine, I haven't noticed any problems. It really is a decent product for the price and, as of yet, no serious complaints. I also got free shipping since I had it shipped to the store versus my home.
Opinion: My son LOVES it. He wants to use it all of the time. Mostly the pitch back net side, though. (he doesn't like trying to be so accurate on the catcher side). I and my husband also use it. It is very similar to the one I had over 30 years ago and works like I remember them working. My son also can do the adjusting for throwing angles himself so no real adult supervision is needed. I do recommend that parents have kids stand back farther due to the speed that the balls return...my son has beamed himself a couple of times for standing too close and throwing with all his might. We also use the catcher side to aim our pitches when we are having batting practice. This also keeps us from having to chase missed balls.
Summary:All in all, very much worth the money. I was skeptical at first, but saw that I could return it to the store if I were unhappy (versus mailing it back). Ordering via internet to store was easy, pickup at the store was easy plus the free shipping because it was a store (this was all through Walmart.com).
I recommend this if you are just beginning baseball or want something fun that is not expensive. There are MUCH more expensive versions out there, and those might be good, if there were other reasons to spend so much (on the high school team, etc), but for my son's needs (and mine) this was a GREAT match. And I am not worried if it doesn't last forever, I only paid about $45.
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