Goodrum staying ready with garage-turned-gym

April 14th, 2020

is gaining a lot of respect these days for his virtual baseball skills after leading the Tigers to a hot start in the MLB The Show Players League. But thanks to a decision he made early in his career, he has quietly put in the work to make sure that whenever actual baseball gets back going again, he's ready.

Right after he returned to his Atlanta-area home from his first full Major League season in 2018, Goodrum turned a garage on his property into a workout facility, complete with a home gym, a batting tee and a net.

He never expected to be using it in mid-April.

"I have it made pretty good," Goodrum said last week. "Definitely wasn't thinking of something like this. I felt like as a professional athlete, if they have a house, they should have a gym at their home rather than paying someone. That was the thought behind it. It's coming in clutch right now."

Goodrum tweeted video of him taking swings off the tee into the net a couple weeks ago. The switch-hitter had one video clip for each side of the plate.

Goodrum has a big enough garage for the tee, strength equipment and a treadmill. When he feels the need to get some fielding and throwing work in, he can go outside with his brother while maintaining social distancing.

The work confirmed a tweet he sent out on March 14, two days after baseball suspended Spring Training in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Goodrum was well on his way to being ready for Opening Day, despite missing a week and a half of games with a minor groin injury. He went 2-for-16 with a solo homer and six strikeouts in seven Grapefruit League games, but settled defensively into a full-time position he fought to earn going into the season.

Whenever the season opens, Goodrum will be the Tigers' starting shortstop. And the video games will again take a back seat.

"In the offseason, I play the video games a lot, a lot," Goodrum said. "I play a lot of Call of Duty. During the season, not so much. In Spring Training, I'll play the game after our day games, just because it's eariler. But during the season, I rarely play the games because it's late nights. Because it takes a focus to play a video game. After a game, I don't feel like playing a video game."

Until that time comes, Goodrum's schedule is pretty well taken up by playing video games and preparing for real ones. He's also onto season 2 of "Ozark."

"Workout, video game, eat, relax. That's it," Goodrum said. "I'll watch Netflix, started a couple shows on there. But not too much goes on."