Prince Fielder is the latest baseball player to make headlines for transforming his body in the offseason. CC Sabathia is skinny. Josh Hamilton is apparently fat. We’ll still have to wait and see on Bryce Harper and his claims about arriving at Nationals’ camp as “big as a house.”
In an interview with ESPN Fielder, traded from the Tigers to the Rangers in November, discussed his MMA-inspired workout plan that’s helping him get in the best shape of his life. As the Dallas Morning News details:
“Years past I was lifting weights and lifting heavy, I’m getting older, I’m almost 30 now,” Fielder says in the video to explain his new technique.
“I have a fear of failure, for me I’m working all that fear away. Our sport is a team sport, but my team can’t be in the box while I’m hitting so for me I never want to let my team down or my teammates, I’m eliminating fear.”
Earlier in his career Fielder claimed to be a vegetarian, which might not have been entirely true. We’ll have to wait-and-see if his MMA-inspired workout regime and a move to hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington help him bounce back from a subpar 2013, which ended in especially sour fashion with the Tigers when he batted .184 in the ACLS without an RBI.
Snark and easy jokes aside, if you look at Fielder’s “off” 2013 — he was still an above average offensive player even if his OPS .819 was the lowest of his career in a full season — how exactly will MMA-style training help his plate discipline? In 2011 and 2012 he compiled more walks than strikeouts — coincidentally enough by one each season. In 2013 he struck out 117 times compared to 75 walks, his lowest total of free passes since 2006
At the very least we’ve probably seen the end of his in-game nacho snacking.
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