CPBL Testing New Game Balls in Farm League
Will the CPBL change their official game ball supplier in the 2024 season? Apparently, the league is currently gathering data and in the process of reviewing the potential new game ball.
On May 6, Yahoo Sports Taiwan with the exclusive that the CPBL has begun trialling various baseball brands in the minor leagues this season.
The news is not a surprise, though. In September 2022, veteran CPBL broadcaster Tsai Ming-Li said on his podcast that the league is looking at the idea of testing multiple brands of baseball in the 2023 farm league season. Tsai, at the time, did not mention the brands.
CPBL insider Tsai Ming-Li revealed on his podcast that the CPBL is planning to trial different brands of balls in the minor league in 2023.
The #CPBL has been using Sakurai as their supplier since 1999. They briefing switched to Mizuno in 2010, but stopped due to poor quality. pic.twitter.com/BKYEoHJxgt
— CPBL STATS – ♥️ #95, Mina (@GOCPBL) September 27, 2022
According to Yahoo Sports, the league started the 2023 minor league season using the existing brand Sakurai 990. From the month of May, they switched to the game ball produced by Rawlings. In the next few months, the league will also test other brands, including BRETT Sports and others yet to be named.
“I have tried the new Rawlings balls, but I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference from the Sakurai. Both actually seem pretty good quality to me this year,” Wei Chuan Dragons pitcher Tim Melville told CPBL Stats.
The league representative told the media that the team owners approved the decision to trial new game ball brands earlier this year.
The goal is to gather information on the various brands of baseball via minor league games. This trial will provide valuable data for the league in the future if there is a need to change the official game balls for the CPBL major league.
It is worth mentioning that the Rawlings brand of the CPBL baseball is a different model from the Rawlings balls in the World Baseball Classic. Based on the reports from earlier this year, a lot of CPBL players said the WBC balls are livelier and can travel further than the CPBL game balls.
BRETT Sports is the current official supplier to the CTBA for all amateur tournament game balls. The league will unlikely use the same model as the amateur balls from BRETT.
The CPBL has been using Sakurai as their game ball supplier since 1999. The league briefly switched to Mizuno in the 2010 season but stopped the following year due to poor manufacturing quality, as many players complained the balls were too soft and would deform upon hitting it.