DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Telvin Nash, the Minor League slugger who belted 29 homers in 106 games last year at Class A Lancaster, reported to the Minor League minicamp looking like a different man. Nash said he dropped 30 pounds this offseason in an effort to get quicker on the field as well as to improve his overall health.
The 6-foot-1 Nash, who is down to 230 pounds, said he did a lot of running and ate healthier in the winter, which meant more salads and grilled chicken and less fast food.
"I had to make a change for myself," he said. "[The team] preached to me about some things, but really I had to take it upon myself. This is my career and the best way for me to have success is to lose weight. My weight was getting outrageous, so I had to lose weight to show these guys I am really dedicated to baseball and this is what I love to do. If you love the game, you're willing to put in the work to be the best."
Nash, who was limited to 78 games in 2011 because of hand surgery, played mostly left field last year, though he did see time in right. Now that he's lighter, he says he's more explosive on the field.
"I just feel all around much better," he said. "I feel faster at first base and in the outfield when I track balls down. If I'm holding a runner, I can get off the base and make a routine play. ... In the past, a ground ball was hit right at me and it was kind of tough. I made it look much more difficult than it really was. I feel much more explosive, I'm in shape and I'm healthier, too."