This year is a big year for Czech Baseball. We are preparing to try and advance to the Olympics. We understand the challenge ahead but also the opportunity and the importance of being 'ALL IN' as a group to go as far as we can go and just control what we can control, which is to prepare to win each day and take care of the details.
Arizona was a great start to the journey this year. The trip started out with a couple of team workouts and going through our team identity and execution. All the players who had a healthy offseason showed up in great shape ad were ready to go.
Each game guys played better. The first couple of games vs JUCO teams were about getting out on the field, splitting games and preparing bodies for the following week of games at a higher speed.
All the way around the games were great. Pitchers were limited on the pro team side with pitch counts and had to roll some innings, however, we were able to accomplish exactly what we wanted. We faced mainly Low A- High A player mix with some AA-AAA prospects thrown in the mix vs A's, Dodgers, Royals, and Tijuana who featured many ex-MLB players. Our aim was to set our eyes to that game speed right away this year so we know what we have to do to be successful with velocity and plus secondary pitches, as well as being able to execute our secondary pitches and first step quickness on defence.
Hitters got progressively better with timing as the week went on and put up some big innings. It was encouraging to see our veteran leaders in great shape and ready to go led by Hejma, Cech and Malik offensively in hits, HR's, and RBI's, and Novak, Chroust and Bokaj throwing great all week leading the staff.
Good luck to EXL teams and look forward to seeing everyone in Czech soon!