PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

If you follow baseball, this upcoming season you may see pitchers wearing a new kind of cap to protect them from batted balls.

In addressing this part of the game that has led to serious head injuries, Major League Baseball has approved a padded cap that pitchers now have the option to wear while they're on the mound.
     
Developed by 4Licensing corporation subsidiary isoBlox, the caps are designed with as much as 1 inch of padding to protect pitchers from the impact of a batted ball traveling at up to 83 mph.
     
In Palm Springs, where California Winter League games are currently being played, pitcher Ryan DeJesus believes the padded cap is a good step in making the game safer.

"It's something that when it comes out and it's new, it's going to take a little while to get used to, but I think three to five years down the road that's going to be something that's not an option, but maybe mandatory," said DeJesus.

Besides the pro version, a padded skull cap that can slide into a standard adjustable cap will be available for youth players by the end of March.