Popular The Top 10 MLB Stars Who Shed Pounds for 2011

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In today’s day and age, where obesity has become such a concern that the NBC show The Biggest Loser is actually one of top rated shows on the last-place network, even star athletes are taking note.

Over the rigors of a 162-game schedule, combined with six weeks of spring training and the possibility of an extra four weeks of playoff baseball, the human body takes on a heavy toll, so to speak. Stamina becomes a major issue and for players who may be packing on a few extra pounds, late season injuries can certainly become a concern as well.

To that end, many players are now working on offseason conditioning programs that address weight concerns and overall BMI (Body Mass Index), as well as strength training and flexibility exercises.

Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, Ariz. goes so far as to employ nutrition experts in order to educate athletes on proper nutritional requirements that enable them to eat properly during the season without adding fat, but at the same time ensuring that energy needs and daily requirements of vitamins and nutrients are provided to aid in overall performance throughout the stress of a long season.

In this list, we will take a look at players in Major League Baseball who have taken to heart the need to reduce weight and body fat and make determinations as to who in baseball is The Biggest Loser.

10. Melky Cabrera, OF, Kansas City Royals

Outfielder Melky Cabrera, who signed with the Kansas City Royals in December after playing last year with the Atlanta Braves, embarked on an offseason conditioning program that saw him lose 17 pounds.

Cabrera worked out with a personal trainer in Miami and became much more serious about his conditioning, hitting the gym every day.

“I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I’ve lost some weight and I’m working hard,” Cabrera told MLB.com. “I know I can be the player I was when I started my career.”

Cabrera finished last season with a .255 batting average, with four home runs and 42 runs batted in.

9. Bobby Wilson, C, Los Angeles Angels

During the 2010 season, Bobby Wilson, the third option at catcher for the Los Angeles Angels, at one time weighed 243 pounds.

Over the offseason, Wilson endeavored to enter the 2011 season ready to compete for the starting catcher’s position. Wilson hired a nutritionist and kept on a diet of fruits and vegetables rather than his normal fare of fast foods.

“It wasn’t a 15-day crash diet. It was a gradual weight-loss program. The good thing is I kept all my strength,” Wilson said.

Wilson is competing with Jeff Mathis and Hank Conger for the right to be called the starting catcher on Opening Day for the Angels.

8. Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves

At just 27 years of age, Brian McCann is already a five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger award winner. However, McCann also knows his best years are ahead of him and as a result, he worked hard during the offseason to ensure longevity.

McCann went through an offseason conditioning program that saw him lose 15 pounds, reporting to camp last week at 220 pounds.

McCann credits a healthier diet, and it’s one he envisions using throughout the 2011 campaign.

“Last year, with a month to go in the season, I was physically exhausted. I think it was more or less the diet I had. I wasn’t conscious of what I was putting in my body,” McCann told the Canadian Press. “I’m making the nutrition side of it a priority.”

7. Martin Prado, LF, Atlanta Braves

There may not be a more important player to the Atlanta Braves than newly minted starting left fielder Martin Prado, who enjoyed a breakout season with the Braves in 2010. In 140 games last season, Prado hit .307, with a career high 15 home runs and 66 runs batted in, and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.

However, Prado suffered a hip pointer that ended his season prematurely and was unable to participate in the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants.

Now, with the offseason acquisition of second baseman Dan Uggla, Prado has been asked to make the switch to left field and given his late season injury, Prado worked even harder during the offseason to ensure against further risk of injury.

According to Braves strength and conditioning coach Phil Falco, Prado worked during the offseason to strengthen his stamina and conditioning. “He’s got a great intensity level. He’s a pleasure to work with. If I had 100 guys like that, it would be the easiest job in America.”

Falco also said Prado “dropped weight and stayed strong during the most rigorous conditioning program he ever followed over the winter.”

6. Jack Wilson, SS, Seattle Mariners

Since the arrival of Jack Wilson in Seattle in 2009, he has been literally plagued with injuries. Although not much could have been done to change the broken hand he suffered that disabled him for much of the second half of the 2010 season, Wilson has suffered through hamstring injuries he now believes could have been prevented with better conditioning.

As a result, Wilson went through an offseason during which he drastically changed his nutritional habits and worked with a personal trainer to work on strength training for his legs.

The result? Wilson showed up at camp weighing 177 pounds, a full 18 pounds lighter than his normal weight of 195.

Wilson knew that he needed a transformation of sorts to get through the tough demands of a 162-game schedule.

“It’s just something I came up with on my own,” Wilson told the Seattle Times. “I figured out that my hamstrings weren’t handling me at the size that I was. So, I decided that if I got smaller and made my legs stronger, it might change some things.”

5. Miguel Tejada, SS, San Francisco Giants

Miguel Tejada, signed by the San Francisco Giants during the offseason to replace the departed World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, is reportedly in the best shape since his Oakland playing days.

Tejada has always been known as a workout junkie, having played in 1,152 consecutive games between 2000 and 2007.

However, Tejada rededicated himself during offseason workouts and reported to Giants camp leaner and meaner, expecting to once again become a hero in the Bay Area.

4. Jason Berken, RP, Baltimore Orioles

Reliever Jason Berken endured a difficult campaign in 2010, suffering a right shoulder injury and frayed rotator cuff that finally ended his season in mid-August.

While the shoulder issues were obviously a concern for Berken, just as important was his conditioning, which he vowed to change during the offseason.

Last week, Berken reported to camp 30 pounds lighter and although enduring some good-natured ribbing from his teammates, Berken believes the weight loss can have a positive effect.

“Thirty pounds sounds like a lot of weight, which it is, but I put on a lot of bad weight last year being on the [disabled list], too,” Berken told MLB.com. “I don’t see how it’s going to be detrimental in any aspect of things. For me, it made sense to do it.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter agreed.

“He looks great,” Showalter said. “It’s good to see young guys getting their arms around things like that so they don’t become an issue. There are enough challenges between the lines. [Losing weight] just became a priority for him; it shows you something.”

3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees

Alex Rodriguez has certainly taken a lot of flak during his career for a variety of on-field and off-field issues, but none of them were directed at his weight.

But, no matter. Rodriguez reported to camp this week several pounds lighter than last season and coming off hip surgery two years ago, is prepared to take on a full season of responsibilities at the age of 35.

“This is as healthy as I’ve felt over the last several years,” Rodriguez said. “It’s fun getting back to work. I have a good winter behind me of real work, probably my first since ’07 or ’08. I’m ready to go.”

2. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, San Francisco Giants

Much has been said about young Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda” by his teammates. Sandoval, who was benched last year by manager Bruce Bochy, obviously decided he needed to do something to get back into the good graces of Giants’ management, and the results were astounding.

Last Friday, Sandoval officially weighed in at Giants camp at 240 pounds, a full 28 pounds lighter than his playing weight at the end of last season.

In addition, Sandoval reduced his body fat measurement from 30 percent to 19 percent.

Sandoval worked out during the offseason under the watchful eye of Triple Threat Performance and Ethan Banning, who coordinated Sandoval’s offseason regimen, was impressed with the dedication of Sandoval to his program.

“That’s not Mr. Universe, but it’s a long way from where he was,” Banning said.

Bochy was pretty impressed as well.

“I don’t need to look at a scale to see how hard he’s worked and where he’s at,” Bochy said. “It’s pretty evident he’s done a lot this offseason to get in the condition he needs to be in. I’m happy. We’re all happy.”

1. C.C. Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees

New York Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia has always been a big boy. However, he too felt the burden extra weight can impose during a long season.

After a year during which Sabathia posted a 21-7 record with a 3.19 ERA in 34 starts for the Yankees, Sabathia put himself on an offseason workout program designed to give him more stamina.

As a result, Sabathia dropped 25 pounds and has already reported the positive effects.

Sabathia told ESPN.com, “My stamina, especially coming out of the bullpen and going straight to the mound, I feel good. I just don’t get tired. Early in spring training years past, I would get a little gassed in my bullpens getting later into the pen.”

Sabathia will need that stamina and conditioning, considering the issue of the rest of the questionable rotation for the Yankees.

Popular the top mlb stars who shed pounds for1 Popular The Top 10 MLB Stars Who Shed Pounds for 2011

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