According to MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis, reporting from the AFL's Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, baseball selected several games at Salt River in which the League swapped out the traditional mud-treated balls with the new, "tackier," factory-treated model in a limited test of new technology.
In speaking with several AFL players, Callis drew the following observations:
> Comparable in performance, including StatCast spin rate and similar measurements, to current ball;
> Untreated ball is slippery, but pitchers say that applying rosin to the ball is enough to neutralize this.
> Seams are less prominent than on the ball currently used in Major and Minor League Baseball.
Benefit for Pitchers:
> Ball appeared to give more life to sinkers, cutters, and breaking ball action.
Benefit for Hitters:
> Ball appeared brighter due to lack of mud, increasing visibility at home plate;