|CRITIQUE CLUB CRITIQUE
Compositionally, I like how the ball is "anchored" in the lower left, but it is cropped much to close, I think. While I don't necessarily feel that the entire subject has to be in the frame, you have cropped just a bit out and that makes it look accidental. Also, the ball is almost on the mid-line, horizontally, so if it could have been dropped in the lower 1/3 of the frame, I also think it would have made it a slightly stronger image.
Technically, the shallow dof works very well here to isolate the subject and add interest to the shot. The background *seems* tilted, but it is difficult to tell because it is indistinguishable as to what it is I'm seeing. Also, a bit of saturation and contrast boost may really help this shot to *pop.*
Overall, I do think the shot conveys "sports" but it doesn't cover the 'action' part of it well. While this ball may have been on the very verge of being scooped up and thrown to the pitcher, there is nothing to indicate that. So, perhaps a little "action" would have helped. Also, when a shot is stationery, voters tend to feel that it should be almost perfect technically, they do seem a bit more forgiving with action shots.
If I need to further clarify or explain myself, please feel free to contact me.