After months of negotiations, Major League Baseball has announced there will be a 2020 season.
Many Pro Hogs have been waiting to hear this news after training camp was abruptly cut short back in March.
Jake Riendl, a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization says, “I had actually joked with my dad a couple days before. After basketball got shut down after (Rudy) Gobert got the Corona. I was like man we’re next I’ll be coming home next week. It wasn’t even next week it was that Friday.”
At the time, no one could’ve predicted the season be delayed this long.
Grant Koch, a catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, says “We didn’t know how long, so a lot of guys left their stuff there. I didn’t know, so I brought everything home and it ended up being a good decision.”
After over three months of waiting and wondering, players are now set to return for training on July 1st.
“It’s what we do for a living. It’s literally what we’ve been waiting on all year. Been waiting since last September to play again. So that’s literally all I want right now. I don’t care what the circumstances are, if it’s being in the hottest environment or whatever it may be I just want to play,” says Zach Jackson, a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
But one of the biggest question is why kind of impact this time off has had on players. Did the extended period of time away from the game hurt their growth?
Jalen Beeks, a pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays, says, “When you’re not getting games in, I think game experience is the most important thing you can have to get better. There’s a lot to go into it. I’m trying to do the best I can here. Working out, getting stronger. Finding something to get better at every day, pitching doing everything I can. But in the end when you’re stressed out and in a game situation that’s where you’re going to grow.”
All four of the Pro Hogs we spoke with do believe that getting work in at NWA Prospects recently has helped them stay prepared for the new 60-game season set to begin on July 23rd or 24th.