Hamilton alters offseason conditioning approach
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton is back in camp, weighing in at 240 pounds and eying a different set of numbers for 2014: .300 batting average, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs.
"Anything after that is gravy," Hamilton said shortly after arriving to the Angels' Spring Training facility on Sunday morning. "That's where I want to be. If I get there, it's always good to break your goals and go further."
After a season that saw his batting average drop to .250, his homers drop to 21 and his RBIs drop to 79, Hamilton put on 28 pounds with a high-calorie, high-protein, gluten-free diet and some cheat days mixed in.
In hopes of being healthier, while predicting that he wouldn't drop as much weight during the season as he used to in Texas, Hamilton deployed a natural-juice diet last offseason. He showed up weighing 227 pounds, dropped an additional 15 over the summer and never really found his typical power.
Now, he's at the weight where he used to be at the start of Rangers camp -- and hoping for similar numbers.
"It will help," Hamilton said. "My joints won't feel as good. I felt good last year, as far as my joints and body. This year, I will probably hurt a little bit more.
"I'm used to when I mis-hit balls, they still have a chance. Last year, I didn't feel like I was there."
The new weight should help him regain his power, the strong finish to 2013 -- .327/.386/.500 slash line in the last 40 games -- should help his state of mind, and a return to left field should simplify things.
After noticing that his hips -- twice surgically repaired -- weren't driving through the ball like they used to, Hamilton also worked with a functional movement coach, who, as Hamilton said, "helped to turn things on again."
His expectation for this season, the second of a five-year, $125 million contract, "is to be back to my old self, running around, playing not too reckless, but being myself. Not taking it easy, but just playing."
"I'm excited about this year," Hamilton said.