Christian Yelich: Journey to the Top

Christian Yelich: Journey to the Top

Last January, Christian Yelich got the call. The 27-year-old outfielder was told he would be trading in the sunny beaches of Miami for the industrial cityscape of Milwaukee. His offseason would include meeting new teammates, getting accustomed to a new area, and impressing new fans.

Little did the public know, these weren’t the only adjustments Yelich had planned for the upcoming year.

During his debut season in Milwaukee, Yelich took a giant leap in his journey from standout high school prospect to arguably the best player in baseball. He finished with a stellar .326 batting average, smashed 36 homers, and drove in 110 runs. His statistical performance was so impressive that he easily took home the coveted MVP award, finishing in first place on 29 of 30 ballots cast.

Christian Yelich focused

Yelich’s improvements didn’t come with any changes to his swing. Instead, he credits his breakout year to completely redefining his mentality at the plate.

“I didn’t really make any mechanical adjustments,” Yelich said. “It was more just targeting what I wanted to do and staying disciplined in a routine every day. Flush out whatever happened the night before and stay locked in on what you’re trying to do that day.”

To say Yelich was locked in is an understatement. During the second half of the 2018 season, he smacked 25 home runs and posted an insane 1.219 OPS, resulting in his second career Silver Slugger award.

Christian Yelich batting

Although Yelich’s production at the plate was second to none, he’d rather reminisce on the special moments he shared with his teammates rather than boast about individual accolades.

“My favorite memory from this past year is when we played in Chicago to win the division,” Yelich said. “That was the culmination of everybody’s hard work from spring training. We had this goal to win the division, make the playoffs, and we were all able to accomplish that together as team.”

That focus on team camaraderie over individual success coupled with Yelich’s genuine love for baseball shaped the player that he is today. He even reminds himself to occasionally step back from the grind and appreciate the game that’s given him so much.

“You have to just enjoy the game and realize how fortunate you are,” Yelich said. “You can get so caught up in the pressure and wanting to perform that you lose sight of the fact that it was always your dream to play in the big leagues.”

Yelich throwing

Make no mistake, Yelich’s gratitude should not be confused with complacency. He’s gotten a taste of the postseason and is ready to return next year with championship aspirations.

“I’m looking forward to being back with the guys and chasing that goal of winning a championship,” Yelich said. “I think the fact that we got so close last year gives us that drive and hunger to get back there and experience those feelings all over again.”

As the reigning MVP gets back to the grind of chasing a championship, Yelich will rely on the gear that performs as well as he does. Find Eastbay’s collection of premier baseball equipment here.

Your Go-To Baseball Gear Guide

Your Go-To Baseball Gear Guide

2018 Baseball Gear Guide Featured

Jump to: Cleats | Fielder’s Gloves | Bats | Batting Gloves | Accessories | Pants And Sliders

The offseason is rounding third and we’re all feeling ready to hit the diamond. While you’re finishing up a winter of indoor training, start learning about all the latest products and building your gear rack for the new season.

Cleats

Built For Speed

adidas Afterburner 4.0

adidas adiZero Afterburner 4: All hail the speed king of the diamond. This cleat is designed for one purpose: to get you to the next base as fast as possible. Weighing in at just 9.4 oz, it won’t matter if you’re charging for a stand-up double or chasing down a ball in the gap, the Afterburner will get you there. Fast. Available in stunning colorways like the Gold Pack and Dipped Pack, you’ll definitely stand out in the adiZero Afterburner 4 — that is, if they even see you coming.

New Balance 4040v4

New Balance 4040v4: If you play baseball, you’ve heard of these popular cleats from New Balance. From the spikes to the tongue, the 4040v4 is one of the most thoughtfully designed shoes in the game. For performance at speeds, these cleats feature a supportive yet lightweight outsole plate. This plate flexes at key bend points so you get maximum dig from metal spikes. A convenient lace cage adds the finishing touch to a streamlined upper by keeping the laces secured and out of the way.

 

Built For Comfort

Nike Huarache Cleats

Nike Alpha Huarache Elite: We’ll start this list with a legend. From top to bottom, this cleat is built for the much-needed comfort of a long season. The internal bootie and ankle locking system hug the foot with a supportive fit, and a full-length Air Max unit in the midsole creates the perfect buffer between your foot and the spikes. Choose the Alpha Huarache Elite in one of its sleek new colorways and link up your look with the Huarache Elite Gloves.

New Balance COMPv1

New Balance CompV1: Ready to embrace change? The New Balance CompV1 is the most innovative baseball cleat system this season and it’s here to take the field by force. The key, new feature is the spike – each one is a glass-fiber tack surrounded by TPU. The hardness of the glass-fiber allows this cleat to punch through dirt with the effectiveness of metal while the TPU delivers the comfort of a molded system. This makes the CompV1 the perfect choice for players who live in their cleats day in and day out, on any surface and in all conditions. Read all about this impressive new cleat in our featured blog here.

adida Energy Boost

adidas Boost Icon 3: It’s right in the name – these innovative cleats house the power of boost from heel to toe. This responsive cushioning system is the perfect solution to cleat pressure felt from metal spikes. But the tech goes beyond the boost. The Icon 3’s sock-like upper hugs your foot for a natural fit while the spike layout gives you perfect traction. Plus, the classy look makes your diamond presence gold-status.

 

Fielder’s Gloves

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