Lonnie of MC, who has been very reliable, sez
So, we're looking at an imminent roids ban eh. Michael Morse got dinged on it ... when he was a minor leaguer, before he had the MLBPA behind him, that is.
Our resident boot camp instructor offers a more hopeful scenario:
My son's best friend is doing his 5-star hotel night as I type this, before flying off to boot camp in the USAF (sorry Bat!). I watched him use P90X to gain 40 pounds of muscle in three months ... well, he claims it's 40. Maybe it was 28. Or 31. Or something. The kid was skinny and now he's got guns. He had trouble curling 30's more than a few reps and now, three months on, he concentration-curls the 50's like a rat pressing a bar.
Without a doubt, age has a lot to do with it. Incidentally it was at age 21 (as Franklin is now) that Ken Griffey Jr came back to training camp, bugging everybody's eyes out, looking like a gorilla (compared to the teenage Kid, that is).
By the way we just went through this bit at BJOL:
.Willie Mays is listed at 5'10", 170 lbs. on baseball-reference.com. Hank Aaron is listed at 6'0", 180.It doesn't really seem feasible in today's game for a person weighing 170-180 lbs. to hit 40 homers a year. That can't really be because pitchers throw so hard that they now knock the bat out of 170-pounders' hands; velocity is about the same now as in the 1960's, right? Perhaps the conditions of an AB have become a little tougher, so that batters don't have time to load up quite as much as Mays and Aaron were able to, and the batter's strength becomes more important ...Put another way: do you believe that Aaron, Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, etc. would still hit 500+ homers in today's game? If so, wondering where those 180-pound cleanup hitters are today. - thanks, JeffAsked by: jemanjiAnswered: 1/25/2013Pitchers throw harder now than they did in the 1960s. .. or this: there are MORE hard-throwing pitchers now than there were in the 1960s.There's a lot there to unpack. Those listed weights tend to be what the player weighed when he came to the major leagues, rather than what he weighed in mid-career. They also list Juan Gonzalez as weighing 175 pounds, Sammy Sosa at 165 (!!), and Nomar at 167.Willie was 5-10, 5-10 1/2, but muscular. I don't have any doubt that he could hit homers in today's game.
Great point: Juan Gone was listed at 175 as a rook, and probably actually weighed about that. Aaron, Mays, etc., these guys came to the bigs at 18, 19. Guys do gain size at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. Sometimes a lot of it.
You also can gain if you haven't lifted weights much. At age 50, I managed to gain 10+ pounds of lean mass in 90 days -- because I hadn't lifted in years and years. If there is traction to this one, it's precisely in the fact that Franklin was under developed prior to this year. Which of course is why he slid in the draft...
The 90-day cycle is all the rage these days. You go in there and blast it, super intense, and yes you can make stunning gains over a winter's time. ... Not by just working out. We're talking about pedal to the metal, doing everything you're possibly capable of, day in and day out.
Adding it all up ... if Nick Franklin was all these things
- Pretty skinny
- Hadn't ever lifted much
- Is a real dirt-dog gym rat who has a berserker mode he applied to bodybuilding
And if he got a mad on, crushed the barbells, it wouldn't be weird for him put on 20, 25 lbs. of muscle or whatever. And it's not impossible that his strength -- in terms of the amount of weight he can lift -- doubled, or something. The 35 lbs. in four months is probably exaggerated; I'm thinking he went from like 168 to 192 and also was three pounds overweight or somesuch. Doesn't change the implications.
Here, check out the exact delta in performance for this middle infielder, whose SLG went from .421 to .578 when he added 20 lbs. Yes, virginia, a big gain in the weight room can mean a big gain in the SLG column. Like from league average, to leading the league in SLG.
Here's that 9-part series on the surpassing glory of Nick Franklin's left hand swing.
If this kid really did go from a rookie 175-lb. bench press to a gym rat 275-lb bench press -- if that is actually what happened, that Franklin went from a wimp to a beast in the gym -- then I would promote him on the prospect charts by several miles.
Show me a kid who really does have 17-inch biceps this spring and I'll show you a kid who's worth more than K-Pax or Taijuan. ... I don't say that he does have them.
Might have to get down to Arizona next month...