One of the most common questions we get from our youth league coaches is:
What are the best baseball tees and which one should I get?
In professional baseball, these are the only batting tees you will usually find in a batting cage. They are our top three baseball tees for hitting. Before we go into which tee is the best, let us explain why we don’t use the cheap one-piece plastic and rubber tees.
You are supposed to make contact with the top part of the tee when swinging. I have heard coaches say: “Do not hit the tee at all when you swing.” This is not right. When hitting off the tee you are not actually trying to hit the tee, but it is something you will do every time. It is typically just a slight “nick” of the top of the tee. The top part of the batting tee is the most important part of the product. With that being said, the one-piece “hard” plastic tees are frustrating. They are durable, but you get zero feel when you hit the ball correctly. Why? Because you always hit the tee, and the tee is rock hard. Bats chip and sometimes dent. We don’t want this. The all-rubber tees simply don’t last. The top of the tee deteriorates rapidly, causing the coach to try to see how good they can balance a baseball or softball without it falling. If you are a coach you know what we mean. The kicker here is that once it deteriorates, you need to buy a whole new batting tee.
We recommend that you spend the extra money during your first purchase of a batting tee, and it will save you money in the long run. Without further ado, here are our choices for best baseball tees:
#3 – ATEC T3 Professional Batting Tee
This is a good baseball tee. It is lightweight and adjustable. The rubber top allows for more of a flush swing through the ball eliminating resistance. This will give the hitter the “proper feel” we talked about above. In our opinion, it is a more expensive Original Tanner Tee (and by about $50). There are some subtle differences, but why spend $50 extra when you can get the same tee from Tanner Tees.
It is a little on the expensive side with a retail price in the range of $120, compared to similar non-weighted based batting tees.
#2 – SKLZ Pro Batting Tee
This baseball tee definitely looks great. SKLZ did a good job with design by adding a weighted base as well as a magnetic tee stem that can easily be put together and taken apart for transport. They also added a cool little fabric layer around the top rubber piece that holds the baseball/softball. This relieves even more friction through the swing, causing the bat to slip a little more through contact. The fabric will get a little frayed the more you use it. But so far through our rigorous use and testing over the past couple months, it is nothing that would affect its structural integrity. It’s really more of a visual dilemma.
It is definitely durable. Since it is relatively new, only about a year on market, we cannot testify as to how long it will truly last. Usually, on tees like these, the only part that deteriorates is the top rubber piece. We are unsure if they offer a replacement piece for the top, which could be an issue.
The retail price on this tee is $99.99 ($79.99 with the AMP 20% DISCOUNT) and is well worth it. This product not only looks good, but also really is a solid baseball tee for the price.
#1 – Tanner Heavy
Tanner Tees are the most used batting tees in professional baseball by far. The Tanner Heavy is the new and improved model off of the Original Tanner Tee. Tanner Tees just came to market with Tanner Heavy in the past year and we have heard nothing but good things so far.
What makes Tanner Tees #1:
- Newly designed weighted base that keeps the tee upright and stationary when properly used.
- Tee stems and base can be taken apart easily, allowing for stress-free transport.
- Tanner Tees offers 3 different tee stems of varying height (VERY IMPORTANT TO US).
- First to market with the rolled rubber top. Best feel for sure.
- Ability to purchase replacement rubber tops.
- Extremely durable. We have seen some “vintage” Tanner Tees from decades ago still being used.
- You are investing in an outstanding product as well as a great company with superior customer service.
With a retail price ranging from $115-$120 depending on stem size, the Tanner Heavy is a no brainer buy. It will last for a long time if used properly. Worst-case scenario is that you buy a Tanner Tee and your child no longer has an interest in baseball or softball anymore. But if that happens we don’t think you will have an issue getting someone to take it off your hands!
The Original Tanner Tee is also a great buy as they will retail in the price range of $70-$85 depending on stem size. These tees do not come with a weighted base. If a weighted base is not a necessity, the Original Tanner Tee is the best baseball tee for you.
There are endless ways to use this batting tee due to the availability of multiple stems. We will be featuring a separate article solely on Tanner Tees and how professional baseball players use them to develop proper mechanics within the swing.