Every spring training we hear the same type of story. Either somebody has lost weight or somebody has put on muscle and some how the act is supposed to transform their career. Jordan Danks is the early story thus far. The 25-year-old outfielder will report to camp on Tuesday with an extra 15lbs of muscle in hopes of finally gaining that roster spot on the team. Will it work? Unless his muscle helps him not strike out over 150 times probably not.
It’s been a rough season for John Danks’ little brother. He has been left off the 40-man roster and the White Sox have decided to bring him into camp as a non-roster invitee. He was exposed to the Rule 5 draft in December but nobody selected him. Recently the Sox showed less faith in him when they decided to sign veteran outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. Most likely Danks will start the season in Triple-A Charlotte for the third consecutive year.
The new talk of this extra muscle is fun and slightly encouraging but it means nothing in the big picture. It actually is a little frustrating. Why did it take so long for a 6-foot-5 man to grow into his body? He’s not a young player anymore and should have added this years ago. He didn’t go to a small school, he went to the University of Texas. Their workout center might be bigger and more advanced than the one at U.S. Cellular Field.
A takeaway from this whole muscle gain is maybe Jordan Danks is finally getting it. He is finally figuring out his natural talent and successful big brother is not enough to get him to the major league level. He has to work hard and make himself a better baseball player.
What should impress of Danks’ off-season has nothing to do with muscle. He spent many days and weeks reviewing videotapes of his swings to figure out what he can do better. Danks has told the media what came of it is a better two-strike approach. Last season he hit .257 with only 14 home runs and 155 strikeouts.
Danks still has the time and talent to put it all together. He is already a very good defensive outfielder. If he cuts down on the strike outs and increases his power numbers he will have a home in Chicago. While everybody will be talking about his new physique this week when he comes into camp, the real story in the coming weeks will be his improved fundamentals. This is a make or break spring for Danks, let’s hope he can put it all together.