If the way the Mets look in their uniforms this spring is any indication of how well they will play, the Mets may be on pace for a playoff run this season.
The problem is, the correlation of a player’s waist size and the ability to hit a major league fastball…or curveball…or slider…or changeup, is minimal. In fact, it’s probably non-existent aside from a slight boost in power that comes from putting on muscle.
So why all the hype surrounding the Mets players attending a fitness camp this winter? This is what major leaguers are supposed to do. Being a professional athlete entails keeping your body in top physical condition—it’s part of the job description. Excuse me if I don’t get all excited because players are in great shape, because they’re supposed to be in great shape.
Does anyone think that Ruben Tejada couldn’t hit in 2013 because he was out of shape? Does anyone really think that because he seems to be the best shape of his life, he’s going to return to his 2012 form? It doesn’t. If you can hit, you will hit…period. Being in poor physical condition may alter his range at shortstop, or his speed around the base path, or even his likelihood of being injured during a grueling season, but it won’t affect his ability to hit.
The same goes for Lucas Duda. How good of shape does a player have to be in to walk from home plate to first base?
The player I’m most excited to see how this fitness camp impacted him is Wilmer Flores. Here is a kid that has never had time to dedicate to improving his speed and agility because he played baseball all year-round. A dedicated program for him could have worked wonders for him on the defensive side of the ball (where all of his question marks are). Offensively, the Mets have to find a way to get Flores in the lineup which is why it was critical for him to dedicate time this winter to developing his speed and agility.
The Mets look like they’re in great physical condition so far this spring. They’re getting rave reviews from the media for looking so trim. However, that is no indication of how they will play on the field…and that’s all that really matters.