With all the things that Mike Trout will have on his shoulders, like having to follow up on the impossible expectations set by his 10.0 fWAR rookie season, the last thing that’s on his mind is his weight.
As far as he’s concerned, Trout does not have a weight problem. Even if the outside observers may see it as such.
Being the best player in the major leagues will get you a fair share of attention, and it wasn’t long after the Los Angeles Angels opened camp that reports came in about Trout having apparently arrived at 240 pounds, which is some 10-15 pounds more weight than he usually starts with.
The difference was particularly stark during the Angels presser where he shared a stage with a slimmed-down Josh Hamilton, who had conversely joined his new team some 20 pounds lighter than usual, thanks to a juicing diet.
That Trout now weighs about the same as Miguel Cabrera‘s listed weight understandably yielded some concerns among fans who wondered if it would affect the Angels’ super-sophomore 2013 as far as raw athleticism goes, but according to the 21-year old, it was all part of an off-season plan to gain strength by adding more muscle to his body composition.
According to Trout, he’ll probably end up losing “five to 10 pounds” during Spring Training, which would get him to the usual weight he wants to start the season at – about 230 pounds.
As far as it affecting his athleticism? “This is nothing too crazy. I feel fast. I feel quick. I should be good.”
Of course, this is essentially what every player who has ever come into Spring Training with a bit of extra weight says, and until Trout can show that it hasn’t affected his play, the questions about why he’d make the change in 2013 will still be asked.
It’s a bit of a sticky situation, really, even if he’s right about the extra weight not affecting his performance.
The thing is, Trout has set the standards for what to expect from him so impossibly high, that it’s almost unfathomable to think he’ll actually be able to improve on his 2012 season. If 2013 sees a sizable decline from the numbers he put up last season, the questions about his pre-season preparation will almost certainly come back – whether of not it was actually related.
But, could it end up making him better? Could you imagine what a faster, stronger Trout, going into the coming season with something to prove, can accomplish?
Perhaps it’s that thought that led him to put the extra weight on. And after putting on an unprecedented rookie season, Trout could probably be given the benefit of the doubt.