The Tampa Bay Rays are perennial contenders in the American League East, and a big reason is star third baseman Evan Longoria. The 2008 AL Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Star is an offensive threat with one of the best gloves in the game. He recently partnered with the equipment company SKLZ to create a series of drills and skills videos to help kids improve their game.
Sports Illustrated Kids spoke with Longoria at Rays Spring Training camp in Port Charlotte, Florida, about the videos and the skills kids need to become the next great ballplayer. Check out our Q&A with the Rays slugger — and watch some of the videos he produced with SKLZ — below!
When it comes to baseball video games, 2014 is bound to be dominated by MLB 14 The Show. That game hits PS3 in April and PS4 in May and features stunning graphics, cool gameplay, and excellent franchise mode options. But there's another game on the release schedule that takes a little different approach to baseball gaming.
RBI Baseball 14 is scheduled for an early April release on PS3, Xbox 360, and mobile platforms (Android, iOS), and it's way more low-fi than MLB 14. Released by MLB Advanced Media, RBI 14 is kind of a throwback title. It's based on one of the oldest, coolest baseball games ever developed, RBI Baseball. The first version of the game was released for the original Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, and there hasn't been an RBI title since 1995. The new game will honor the series in gameplay and look and feel, but update the graphics for newer consoles.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers made his MLB debut in 2013 after getting called up in June, 70 games into the Rays season. But even without a full season under his belt, Myers was able to make a big impression, winning the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year.
Of course, heading into spring training this season, Myers will be one of the most closely watched players. So he decided to give fans a direct feed into his camp experience by strapping GoPro camera to his hat to create the ROYcam and giving the baseball world a unique view into the spring training experience!
Several days ago, I opened up my first pack of 2014 Topps baseball cards. I flipped over the cards to look over the stats written on the back, and next to traditional stats, such as home runs, RBIs, wins, and saves, I saw that WAR, a sabermetric, was listed for each player. I was so excited to discover that Topps has decided to include SABR on their cards.
For those of you who don't know, WAR is a statistic that stands for Wins Above Replacement. It shows the amount of wins or losses a player could bring to his team if he played instead of his backup. Last season, Mike Trout (9.23), Carlos Gomez (8.36), and Andrew McCutchen (8.19) led MLB in WAR. Clayton Kershaw (7.86) led pitchers in WAR last year, and he ranked fifth overall, behind Trout, Gomez, McCutchen, and Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (7.97).
At Yankees camp yesterday, I had the chance to speak with scout Cesar Presbott, team’s Area Scout and Supervisor, about stats and sabermetrics like WAR and how he uses them in his work.
Yesterday was my second day at Yankees Spring Training camp in Tampa, Florida. The weather was scorching hot. The pitchers went through several plays similar to the ones done on Sunday, like fielding bunts and making pick-off throws. Also, Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira took grounders at first base, then took some swings off of a tee. Later, I went down to the backfield and found CC Sabathia hitting — yes, hitting — ground balls to his son. After the practice ended, I assumed my day was over. But I had just begun my adventure.
I’m spending several days in Tampa, Florida, attending Yankees Spring Training. And over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about the team preparing for Opening Day on March 22.
On Sunday, pitchers and catchers went through their drills in Steinbrenner Field and the other fields of the Yankees training center. The pitchers went through several plays to practice fielding bunts and picking off runners at first base. They were joined by first baseman Mark Teixeira, who greeted some fans between batting, stretching, and a workout.
If you're a baseball gamer, circle April 1 on your calendars: That's Opening Day for MLB14 The Show. The title rolls out on PS3 and Vita first, followed by PS4 in May.
The title features enhanced gameplay and graphics (the stadiums are more photorealistic than ever thanks to a big boost in processing power and design), as well as enhancements to the title's play modes. Quick Counts, one of the new features, lets you to play a a full game in half the time by using statistically-generated pitch counts. Another cool development is Year-to-Year Saves, which allows you to move your saves and franchise data from MLB14 to future releases.
Check out a few screenshots from the game, as well as a trailer that shows off how the game looks and feels on a PS3: