In sports today we always hear about the modern athlete being bigger, stronger, faster. But does size really matter in baseball?
The professional game is loaded with players who look like football players, however, if you take a closer look at some of the game’s best players, you may be surprised at just how normal-sized they really are.
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins both stand 5’8″ and were both named League Most Valuable players.
Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen tops the height scale at 5’10” and he was also named a league MVP.
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is a great example of a mighty-might in a game of giants. At 5’5″, Altuve is one of the shortest players in professional baseball, but he’s one of the game’s best hitters. In 2014, Altuve led all of Major League Baseball with 225 hits and he stole 56 bases.
Throughout the history of professional baseball, the game has been littered with “short people.”
While scouts first look at size, they quickly look for talent and athleticism. Can a player hit? Can he run? Can he throw? What kind of work ethic does he possess?
While all players seem to need to prove themselves in the game of baseball, smaller players like Altuve and Pedroia always seem to have to prove a little more in their pursuit of the game.
I’m talking about size today because my son Cameron plays on a team of giants. Cameron stands 5’10” and it’s easy to spot him in this picture. While Cameron gives up several inches to the 6’7″ Sen Kenneally to his right and the twin 6’5″ towers on his left, Noah Goins and Nathon Gentry, Cameron makes up for it with skills the bigger guys don’t quite possess. I’m not saying the bigger players are slow, but if these four guys lined up for a race, it wouldn’t even be close.
Being big in baseball gives you an edge in the power hitting department and there is a lot of power in this picture. Cameron’s value to his team is his ability to get on base, steal extra bags, score runs and cover a lot of ground in the outfield. That is what the smaller player does in baseball.
We all know that baseball is a game of numbers and statistics; however, one of the things that matters most in the game of baseball is how big a heart you have for the game. While you can’t measure the size of a player’s heart, you can tell what type of player he is by how he plays each time he steps on the field. Skill and talent will always win out in baseball, no matter how big a player you are.
The game of baseball has a way of rewarding the big and small player. So yes there is room for the little guy in baseball.