The Rays have added another high-tech tool to their pregame preparation routine, a virtual reality system that allows batters to experience the pitchers they are about to face.

« It’s pretty awesome, » said outfielder Steven Souza Jr., one of the early adopters. « I think anytime you can see a pitcher before you actually get in there, it’s unbelievable. It’s like standing in the bullpen. And how many times do you honestly get to do that for the opposing team? »

The Rays are one of several big-league teams, among them the Pirates, to incorporate virtual reality training, though team officials didn’t want to discuss any details of the partnership with EON Sports VR.

« We are looking forward to learning more about the technology and how it might benefit our players, » baseball operations president Matt Silverman said Tuesday.

In announcing the arrangement, EON executive Brendan Reilly said it can be a significant tool.

« Nothing can replace the at-bat experience, but our technology enables players to maximize repetitions and their performance in the batters’ box, » he said. « This is invaluable technology for teams looking to gain a competitive edge against their opponents. »

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