KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros players have been going through eye tests the past couple of days at Osceola County Stadium, which is significant when you consider how important vision can be for a hitter facing a 97-mph fastball with late movement.
"It's extremely important," manager Bo Porter said. "When you start to think about vision from a hitting standpoint, if your vision is not to the point where it allows you to maximize your ability to recognize spin, pick up your depth perception as far as pitch selection, it can really have a drastic effect on your ability to play to your potential."
A similar test paid off for Robbie Grossman, who underwent an eye exam while he was playing for the Astros in Boston last April before he got sent down to the Minor Leagues in May. He wound up changing the brand of his contact lenses and improved at the plate.
Grossman hit .322 with an .816 on-base percentage in his final 35 games after getting called back up to Houston in July. He batted .198 in his first stint with the club.
"I just changed brands and it seemed to help me a lot," Grossman said. "I did the test in Boston and came back and said I had some problems with it, so I went to an eye doctor in Houston and they changed the contacts. So far, so good."
Grossman said the test was challenging, even with perfect vision.
"They're onto something because it's definitely challenging," he said.