Over the course of the week, MLB players will report to Spring Training to begin working out with their teams. The roughly six-week program mostly serves as a way for teams to get some practice in before the season gets underway. But an always underlying storyline is how certain players look as they arrive at camp.
Here are five players who’ve undergone impressive off-season training programs and have new and improved figures to show for it as the 2018 season approaches.
1. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees:
The Yankee catcher enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 that saw him jack 33 homers en route to the Bronx Bombers’ ALCS appearance. But with last year’s rookie phenom and marble statue that is Aaron Judge batting before him, and the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, perhaps Sanchez felt the pressure to carve out a more impressive figure of his own. The once 235-lb backstop has trimmed 20lbs of excess weight in preparation for the 2018 season. The heart of the Yankee order will now feature some of the most fit figures in the league.
2. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
The big bopper in the middle of the Cubs’ order has little to prove to anyone. The fourth overall pick is just 24, has a World Series ring, and, after 2017, a 30-homer season under his belt. Despite this, the Middletown, OH, native has decided to take that belt down a couple notches. The Cubs tweeted out an inspiring video featuring Schwarber absolutely burning it during the off-season. The Chicago backstop/outfielder shows off an impressively lean diet and rock-solid frame in the video below.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 10, 2018
3. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
We probably don’t need to tell you much about this guy that we haven’t already said.
The Mets’ ace’s notorious reputation as a physical beast has become its own storyline. The guy even got a Game of Thrones appearance out of the deal. Nevertheless, the hurler never ceases to impress, and we’ll never pass up an opportunity to show off a pair of shoulders like these:
"Do I look jacked?" Noah Syndergaard asks when he spots me taking photos. Will let the people decide. pic.twitter.com/67ylSGJd0S
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 12, 2018
4. Dominic Smith, New York Mets:
Unlike Syndergaard, Dom Smith isn’t a Met who will jump to anyone in the fitness community’s mind as an icon. One of the Mets’ top prospects, Smith made his major league debut in 2017, but did so at an unsightly weight north of 250lbs. But when he rolled up to camp in 2018, however, he looked like a new man. Smith dropped 30lbs and lowered his weight to 226. A well-produced training video on his Instagram shows off some of the progress he’s made.
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 12, 2018
5. Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers
Hard-throwing Tiger reliever Joe Jimenez struggled in his first taste of the big leagues in 2017, as he posted an ERA in the double-digits. But the promising righty excelled in Triple-A and is looking to make another run at the big leagues. Jimenez dropped a startling 20lbs in the off-season and is looking to show off his new figure in a major league uniform come 2018. Check out some of the kettlebell work he’s been up to:
— Joe Jiménez (@JAJimenez27) December 12, 2017
Teams are still reporting, so keep your eyes peeled for the progress some of these players have made with their physiques. Games start on February 23, and the regular season gets going on March 29.
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