Lukas: The C-flap helmet is saving faces in baseball

From SABR member Paul Lukas at on April 4, 2018:

Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera are four of the most feared hitters in baseball. Between them, they have six MVP awards, 15 Silver Slugger awards, five league home run titles and 26 All-Star appearances.

This season, they have something else in common: Trout, Harper, Stanton and Cabrera are all wearing the C-Flap, that piece of protective plastic that attaches to a batting helmet and extends over the cheek and jaw.

Among these four power brokers, Stanton has been wearing the C-Flap the longest. After being hit in the face by a pitch that ended his 2014 season, he wore a football-style face mask in 2015 but switched to the C-Flap in 2016 and has continued to wear it since then, primarily against right-handed pitchers. (He goes flapless against southpaws.) Trout, Harper and Cabrera are more recent C-Flap converts, having begun wearing it just last month during spring training. While they’re the highest-profile players to start wearing the flap, they’re hardly the only ones. Players all over MLB have begun wearing the unassuming accessory, including other big names such as Boston’s Hanley Ramirez and Houston’s Carlos Correa.

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Originally published: April 5, 2018. Last Updated: April 5, 2018.