T Nation

Living the Dream

Here is an article about a minor league baseball player who spent time doing some serious training in the off season and raised his stock quite a bit.

He spent much of the winter in AZ with Jay Schroeder, but also spent some time at home in the Chicago Suburbs. I was fortunate enough to watch and participate in some of his training.

The link with a picture is available at: www.indians.mlb.com

click on :gerut knows chances

I will post the text of the article in case the story is removed.

Tribe notes: Gerut knows chances
Escobar, Martinez, four others cut from camp
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Indians outfielder Jody Gerut is no dummy – Stanford grads never are.
“In order to fit in, to get out of there, and to feel comfortable while you’re there, you have to be at the top of your game on the field and in the classroom,” Gerut said of his alma mater.

“I mean, success there is casual. You look at average faces around there and you know that those people might be world class concert pianists, world champion chess players or just might have won the NCAA championship in pole vaulting. Everyone walking around there is special and that type of attitude is why people succeed, not only in sports but in business and research, once they leave school because of the attitude that the school instills.”

So it’s no surprise that the 25-year-old knows exactly what he needs to do in order to make it to the big leagues.

After missing the entire 2001 season rehabbing from knee surgery, Gerut came back with an outstanding 2002 campaign. His .281 average, nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 65 games at Double-A Akron impressed the Indians brass enough to earn him a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo where he hit .322 (59-for-183) in 55 games. Unfortunately, the power numbers didn’t follow him north. He had just one homer and 21 RBIs during his time with the Bisons.

“I met with Mr. Shapiro (the Indians general manager) at the end of last year,” Gerut said. “We talked for a while and I had a chance to think about what I wanted to do in the next year. Even then, my goals were to be more of a run producer and to drive the ball a little bit more. I knew strength training would be a really big part of it.”

So Gerut dipped into his own pocket and got down to the business of getting stronger.

He traveled to Arizona during the offseason to work with Jay Schroeder, who is best known for his work with St. Louis Rams super-safety Adam Archuleta.

Schroeder invented a strength program called EvoSport based on plyometrics, a method of training where an athlete’s muscles are stretched tightly and then quickly contracted through various exercises such as clapping hands between push-ups. The goal is to train the fast-twitch muscle fibers to move more quickly, therefore producing more power.

“A lot of it is isometric and biometric-type exercises,” Gerut said. “You do a lot of static contractions like holding things at extreme angles for 30 seconds. It’s really beneficial. You do things like dropping objects from an altitude and catching them, it’s really different and it’s really helped me.”

And the proof is in the power.

After going 1-for-2 in Monday’s loss to the Red Sox, Gerut is hitting .378 (14-for-36) with three doubles, a triple, four home runs and 13 RBIs.

Those numbers, although impressive, aren’t likely to be enough for Gerut to break camp as an Indian though – and he’s bright enough to know it.

“They said that the outfield starting jobs are set and there’s an extra spot open,” Gerut said of his pre-camp talk with Shapiro and manager Eric Wedge. “They told me that I’m in the running for (it), but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’ll start the year in Buffalo. I don’t think they want me sitting a lot. I think they’d rather have me be playing every day.”

Sure he’s being realistic about his chances, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t mean he doesn’t want the job.

“I’d never turn down a big-league job,” he said. “I’d never have them come to me and say, ‘You’re gonna be in the big leagues’ and be like, ‘No, no, no.’ But there’s definitely things I can work on as far as my game. You don’t have to be in the Majors to improve.”

And even if worse comes to worst, the dude’s got a degree from Stanford.