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X Bats Spring Training

By: X Bats

X Bats uses Spring Training to see players, old and new, when they are in camp trying to win a job, keep a job, get acclimated to a new team, etc. before the Spring Training games commence. It is one of the few times each year when bat companies, shoe companies, glove companies, etc. can spend some time with players helping them find the best tools to maximize their performance. They may want to try a new model or models, they may want their bat shape or model tweaked with a thicker handle, a different knob, a shorter barrel, a heavier weight. For the veterans, this is a relatively relaxing time and getting back to their teammates and the lifestyle is something they've yearned for since the prior season ended. Seeing their friends, the camaraderie of the team, getting back on the daily regimen are all the welcomed parts that February brings. The new guys are in the pressure cooker of trying to make it in the short window they're given from being a prospect to becoming a Major Leaguer.

Everyone in the game is acutely aware that 1,500 players are drafted each June. That means 1,500 players in the game in 2014 will no longer be in 2015. The cruel truth of Spring Training is now upon the players- can I catch on with a team and get another season in, can I make the jump from the minors to the majors, can I make the jump from backup to everyday player, can I hold off the new guys and keep my job? For every Mike Stanton and Max Scherzer with contracts bringing financial security for generations, there are thousands of players who come and go. Getting to the big leagues is hard, but every player will tell you that staying there is harder. Not everyone's body can withstand 200 games a year. More players are forced out of the game by injuries than lack of performance. Last season's prospects are trying to establish themselves, recover from injuries or hopefully not relegated to becoming a footnote in baseball lore. This year's prospects envision themselves playing every day in front of huge crowds and becoming the next Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. That hope is the energy that powers the game.

Every team has new players with a shot to win a job, old players who may not last into April and the ever present musical chairs of going up and down from the majors and minors depending on their team's needs and injuries all season. The team that breaks camp is rarely the tam that ends the season. While Spring Training brings fans out of the doldrums of the off season and energized for the new season, it is a time of tremendous anxiety, stress and pressure for the players.



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