While prepping for the upcoming season, the Long Beach State Dirtbags received a little help from the future. Located near the third base line, the newly announced Steve Trachsel Bullpen features a camera and video component which will give the team a more in-depth look at the biomechanics of each player.
The new camera system in place is called BATS, similar to what many MLB teams use now. Head coach Eric Valenzuela said he believes this technology will give the team a competitive edge against its opponents.
“There’s a lot of different programs that we are competing against that are doing huge renovations so we got to do our deal as well and continue to build ours,” Valenzuela said.
The renovation will allow Valenzuela to work with his pitchers in maximizing their efforts and increasing their development. The system records the velocity at which a pitcher throws as well as their positioning. It will allow pitchers to break down their mechanics and review their progress with the coaches.
The project, which began construction in late December, cost nearly $200,000 and is funded fully by private donors. Among them is the namesake of the bullpen, Steve Trachsel, and Marilyn Bohl, an ongoing donor to the program.
As a former pitcher himself, Valenzuela said he believes these renovations will help the team in recruiting the best players possible and maintain the success of the program.
While bullpens are predominantly used by pitchers, the technology works to develop each part of a player’s game.
“In a weird way this will actually help our hitters,” Athletic Director Andy Fee said. “We’ve created a bunt station in that location so that hitters can go up and work on putting down the bunts, which is a really big deal in the offense, although most people would never imagine that.”
The technology will allow hitters to review their bunts and determine whether it would be hit or a foul based on inlaid lines that have been placed in the bullpen as part of the renovation.
“There’s greatness here, there really is and there’s the ability and expectation of not only being good while you’re here, but moving forward and being a great professional as well and so I think it helps our guys, it helps in the recruiting world,” Valenzuela said.
With the renovation process approaching its final stages and the 2021 season looming ahead, Valenzuela said he hopes to maximize the team’s time in the bullpen and use these new resources to their advantage.
“We’ve already been on there, on the bullpen and it’s just a game changer for us,” Valenzuela said. “[We are] very excited about it and obviously thankful for Steve Trachsel and Marilyn Bohl for the contributions to the program.”
The Dirtbags begin their season against Hawai’i on March 19 and play their first homecoming game on March 26. Fans can purchase tickets for their virtual homecoming online through offer.fevo.
Games are available to stream via BeachVision or through the team’s broadcast partners on ESPN. Links will be posted on their schedule page as they become available.