Last week Major League Baseball asked all 30 teams to find a site within 100 miles of their home ballpark to act as a second practice facility once the regular season began so they could use it for a site for the taxi squad of players, which could be as large as 34 players. The taxi squad players will not be working out and practicing with the big league “active roster”. The Cincinnati Reds announced today that their practice facility will be in Mason, Ohio at Prascot Laboratories where they have two fields – Prasco Park and Legacy Field. From the Cincinnati Reds:
In addition to using Great American Ball Park, the team is finalizing plans to use a state of the art facility located on the corporate campus of Prasco Laboratories in Mason. That facility is home to two fields, Prasco Park and Legacy Field.
The facility serves as the home complex of the Cincinnati Spikes, a non-profit, select, traveling baseball team, and includes a weight room, training room, cafeteria, meeting rooms and multiple clubhouses. Prasco is lighted and can be used to train at night. In addition, Legacy Field is a fully synthetic field.
During preseason workouts, the team anticipates utilizing both facilities. Once the regular season begins, the facility in Mason would be the team’s designated Alternate Training Site, which will house the players not on the active roster.
“We are very excited about the possibility of training at Prasco,” Williams said of the state-of-the-art facility just north of Cincinnati. “The facilities are first rate and have been a home to many of our region’s best young players. From the moment MLB gave teams the ability to decide where to conduct preseason training, we were committed to finding a facility in close proximity to our home stadium. It will be exciting for the players to prepare here in our home market for this unique season. We are very grateful to the Arington family for working with us to make this a reality.”
This does come as a bit of a surprise, at least to me. With all of the technology in baseball, it seemed likely that teams would try to find a close minor league ballpark that already had tech set up for them to utilize to help analyze and develop players further. Dayton’s Day Air Ballpark where the Low-A Dayton Dragons play seemed like a great fit as a Reds affiliated ballpark that has Trackman and Field F/X (tracks the movement of all the fielders and runners during play) set up. The downside there could be that it’s just one field – something that with the selection of the site in Mason, could have been a determining factor.
Of course, teams also have the ability to utilize more portable solutions to track some of these things. Rapsodo’s can be placed on the field since the teams won’t be playing actual games, or teams could set up the portable Trackman radar if they would like to. They probably won’t be setting up the Field F/X, though, which requires a more involved camera system and set up.
With spring training 2.0 being held at two locations, it’s worth noting that both of these will be closed to the public. You can not attend either, so do not try to.