A Power Shift in the GBC?
Saturday, The Club held the 2015 Winter Warmup. Played on the last weekend of winter each year, it is meant purely to get players back into "baseball mode". Officially, it consists of physical warmups, stretches, and drills. Every year, however, there has been room for a scrimmage.
This year's scrimmage was divided by league, AL vs. NL. Up until this year, the younger AL players have had an edge over the older NL guys. In 2013, this advantage was primarily through scrappy hits and rallies that scored several runs at a time. In 2014, the younger guys hit more home runs than the year before, and pitching by Corey Knisley, Jeremy Freese, and other AL pitchers had an obvious advantage over the arms of their counterparts.
This year, however, new additions to the NL like Chris Bequette, Jordin Wynn and Tyler McCann could change the tides, along with help from the ever-improving abilities of players like Tommy Wheeling, who seem to get better and better each season.
The Winter Warmup performance of the new members had 2014 Champion Corey Knisley wondering if the NL would finally be in control. "The National League is looking like a power house this season," he said at the end of the day. "There's going to be some really tough competition this year." He was also impressed with the outfielding abilities of both Tyler McCann and Chris Bequette, who together with the amazing talent seen in Tony Francik make for an amazing set of outfielders, with other skillful outfielders likely playing elsewhere, ready to move to the outfield at any time. "The outfield is absolutely stacked," Corey said of the outfield situation specifically. "We've got 3 guys who could be amazing center fielders, and plenty of guys who have been in the outfield who may have to find somewhere else to go."
Only time will tell whether or not the new faces and the growing talent with the NL players will be enough to topple the dominant AL, but if one thing is for sure, it is that there will be some fierce competition when the season opens in April.