The key to the Cleveland Indians getting back to the World Series for a second straight year might come down to a Cuban outfielder who, prior to this season, had never played in the Major Leagues before.
Why? Well, this sleeve-splitting goliath might be the most shredded position player in baseball.
Meet Yandy Diaz: After putting up some blistering numbers in spring training, the 25-year-old third baseman/outfielder played his way onto the Opening Day roster for the Indians. In 20 games he had 22 hits, two home runs, 15 RBI, and a whopping .458 batting average—and now he’ll get the chance to show off his muscles in the regular season.
Seriously, Diaz is jacked:
Diaz was helped by the fact that second baseman Jason Kipnis went down with a rotator cuff injury in spring training. With Kipnis out and on the disabled list to start the season, usual Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez will play second base until Kipnis returns, leaving an open spot at third base for Diaz.
But if his work in the gym is any indication, even when Kipnis returns and Ramirez moves back to third base, there’s a good chance the Indians will find some at-bats for Diaz.
Sure, strength doesn’t always equal success in baseball. Though after looking at what players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Giancarlo Stanton do in the gym—along with these 26 other shredded MLB stars—weight-room bona fides certainly don’t hurt, either.
Just look at Diaz's massive bicep on the left side of this photo—getting that jacked takes quite a few dumbbell curls:
The Indians, of course, are returning from their loss in the 2016 World Series to the Chicago Cubs in an epic, seven-game matchup, and the team responded by crushing it in the gym this offseason—especially these nine players, including Tyler Naquin, Roberto Perez, and Carlos Santana.
Now, Diaz adds another swole body to the lineup and that could make the offense even more potent.
Need more proof?
Here are six times that Diaz crushed some big weight in the gym and showed off his muscular physique:
6. Diaz bulks up and grits his way through a set of quick hang cleans:
5. Diaz gets in some TRX work and shows off his huge biceps as he does it:
4. Diaz's arms look like they're about to explode out of his sleeves as he does barbell curls:
3. Diaz uses some suspension to get a leg workout in:
2. Diaz shows off his biceps as he works out with dumbbells on the bench:
1. Back squat time—Diaz squats five reps of what looks to be 315 pounds (6 total 45-lb plates + 45-lb bar) of weight, although he may have squeezed in a few more after the video stopped: