Today I’m all about the physicality of players, i.e., do they keep their temple (their body) in good shape, or have they let their money maker go to pot?
Pablo Sandoval was terrific last season hitting .330 with an impressive .943 OPS in his first full season at the big league level. The fact that he was able to do that despite being grossly overweight for a man of just 23 years of age wasn’t lost on anyone. Pablo dedicated himself to getting into shape this off-season with “Camp Panda,” a reference to his nickname (Kung Fu Panda), and the training he undertook in Arizona. After receiving a glowing report for his newfound work ethic, Sandoval went to Venezuela to get in some hacks in winter ball. Unconfirmed reports leaked out that he gained back all the weight he had lost, though that is not true according to a report by Henry Schulman. Apparently Sandoval is still roughly 11-12 lbs lighter than last season, though his goal of hitting 250 lbs for the 2010 season is still something he is working towards. Makes you wonder how they got that “official” weight of 246 lbs for him last season, doesn’t it? The bottom line is that a young man, he wont be 24 until August, who stands a mere 5’11” has no business being anywhere near 250 lbs, that is if he wants to have a long and productive career. If he doesn’t get down to say, oh 235 lbs, Sandovals’ talents on the field might be talked about whimsically as his body could begin to let him down.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well I’ve got a couple words of my own to add to what you are about to look at. Care to guess which one of the following guys is the potential top-50 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft?
— OR —
OK, both Terrence Cody and Tim Tebow might be top-50 picks, but something is clearly wrong when most people posit a more productive NFL career for a guy who would look out of shape standing in line at the local Dairy Queen. Tebow may or may not have a successful pro career at quarterback (most seem to have serious concerns at this point), but he could always take up modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch if he needs a few extra bucks. As for Cody, he said that he plans on getting in shape for the NFL combine, though you have to wonder how a kid, on the verge of becoming a multi-millionaire, allowed himself to gain 21 lbs from the start of the 2009 season. By the way, if you want to read more about Cody click on the link to 2010 NFL Draft Prospects: DL, and for more on Tebow click away on NFL Draft Prospects: QB.
Before you begin to start feeling a little uncomfortable, here is a picture that should restore your masculinity for those of you out there who prefer to look at women in their underwear.
Feel better now?
Finally, there is a man who is the same size he was the day he stepped on the big league field for the first time, and that player is Randy Winn. The Yankees added Winn to the mix with what is being reported as a 1-year deal which should end the Yanks flirtation with bringing Johnny Damon back to the pinstripe fold. Sorry Scott Boras. Looks like you really will have to try and entice the Tigers and the Reds into bidding on your client. Back to Winn.
Randy fell on his face last season, his final campaign with the Giants, as he hit a mere .262 with two homers, 51 RBI and 65 runs scored in 149 games played. That effort, which included 16 steals, ended a run of fantasy relevance that stretches back to 2002. In fact, from 2002-08 Winn posted an average 5×5 season of .294-13-68-85-20. He’ll never be that player again, especially now that he’ll likely split time at least some time with Brett Gardner in the outfield, but he is a fine veteran presence who still plays strong defense, and if reports of his salary being just $2 million this year turn out to be accurate, it’s a nice move for the Yankees to have made.
By Ray Flowers