Minor League Baseball Rookies at Higher Risk of Injury Than Veteran Players
Physical Therapy in Thousand Oaks for Baseball
Rookies entering the minor leagues run a greater risk of injury than veteran players, according to this study. The authors say that rookies may not be prepared physically for the new demands of higher levels of play. Playing at such a high level requires the tissues of the body to adapt over a longer period of time. Rookies simply haven't made these adaptations, which could account for their higher injury rates.
By reviewing the injury reports of six minor league teams from 1985 to 1997, the authors were able to compare how often players of different experience levels were injured. The rate for rookies was calculated at 2.42, a significantly higher rate than the 1.62 figure for veteran players.
The researchers also categorized how bad the injuries were to see who suffered the worst injuries. Even though the differences were slight, veteran players tended to have less severe injuries than rookies.
The authors suggest several reasons why rookies were injured more often. The authors believe longer seasons, insufficient training, and extra effort during high school or collegiate play may put players at risk of overuse. Then when they enter professional careers, their tissues are more likely to get injured. New injuries could also be related to injuries that happened earlier in players' careers. The lower numbers of injuries in veteran and higher-ranked players could have to do with better training than in amateur levels of play.
To help offset the risks of injury for rookies, the authors suggest that they undergo specially designed strength and conditioning training before moving to a higher level of competition. The authors also recommend that players who move up be tested to see what kind of conditioning program will help the most.
Reference: Kurt Chambless, MD, et al. Rate of Injury in Minor League Baseball by Level of Play. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. November 2000. Vol. 29. No. 11. Pp. 869-872.