EL PASO, Texas - Athletes are missing out on their seasons, but also for a chance to put up numbers. If you’re trying impress college scouts, that hurts.
But no fear, because El Paso-area baseball facility Beimel Elite Athletics is bringing it you virtually through HitTrax, a high-tech ball simulator.
Just like in a regular game, HitTrax calculates the flight of the ball and exit velocity off the bat and puts it in a virtual field of play.
"If there's any action on an at-bat, if you put a ball into play you just turn around and look at the computer screen," says Beimel Elite co-founder Joe Beimel, a former MLB relief pitcher. "It'll show you where exactly the ball goes on the field."
Beimel, as well former El Paso Chihuahuas slugger Cody Decker, played in the major leagues and they both know the value in-game statistics.
So at Beimel Elite, coaches are using HitTrax to simulate those in-game scenarios for local baseball players.
Right now, Beimel Elite is using HitTrax to host a summer baseball "league," where players' batting and pitching stats are calculated like they would in an actual season.
And if COVID-19 continues to hold back live action, it could be more than just sample at-bats.
"If we don't do like a fall league like what we're doing now, we might just do where full teams come in," adds Beimel, who pitched for seven MLB teams over 13 seasons.
The hope is that high school teams could come in to play against each other in virtual games.
"El Paso High could play Franklin, or something like that."
Beimel Elite also trains softball players, under the instruction of former Team Canada Olympian Sarah Ploorde.
With HitTrax players can take at-bats in any baseball or softball stadium they choose, meaning you could take swings at your favorite MLB ballparks from the confines of El Paso.