Josh Hamilton signed a five-year, $133 million contract with the Angels last winter, then put together his worst season as a professional in 2013. The former American League MVP hit just .250 with 21 home runs — well below his career averages of .295 and 33 homers. In 2012, one explanation for his weak finish to the season — then with the Rangers — was vision problems caused by excess caffeine.
Now, Hamilton says he’s bulked up heading into 2014, gaining 28 pounds. Speaking at the University of Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner, Hamilton told the Lousiville Courier-Journal his switch to a gluten-free diet, absent processed foods might have been partially to blame for his drop off at the plate.
“I didn’t feel like my power was where it needed to be,” he said. “But overall I still feel good about eating healthy and lifting heavier weights this offseason.”
Hamilton improved in the second half of 2013, upping his OPS from .696 to .801.
Whenever baseball players arrive at Spring Training looking different it still causes somewhat of a stir, either if they lost weight like CC Sabathia has apparently done this winter or swelled up like Mike Trout last year. Bryce Harper already claimed he was going to come to Nationals camp as “big as a house.”
Either way, we anxiously await to see “fat Josh Hamilton” pictures taken by cell phones in the coming weeks.