His numbers won’t leave you awestruck—not to the extent of his tattoos, at least—but consider what Arizona D-Backs 3B Ryan Roberts was able to accomplish in 2011, his first full season as an everyday position player in the Bigs.
Since his Major League debut in 2006, Roberts played in more than 100 games per season only once. Last year, he surpassed nearly all of his career stats in a single season!
Going beyond the numbers, Roberts came up big in some pivotal situations down the stretch, including a walk-off grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second-to-last game of the season. And the “Tat-Man” proved even more clutch in the postseason, finishing 7-of-20 with two HR and six RBI in five games.
After spending most of his professional career battling to crack the starting lineup in spring training, the 31-year-old Roberts will open this season as the D-Backs’ number one third baseman.
Despite his breakthrough season and subsequent promotion, Roberts is taking nothing for granted entering the 2012 season. Four days a week, the Tat-Man trained like a madman, hitting grueling circuits designed to enhance everything—strength, power, explosiveness, endurance and flexibility.
As STACK looked on, the first of two circuits Roberts performed started with a lower-body strengthening exercise, the Standing Calf Raise, followed by an explosive Weighted Box Jump and a Single-Arm-Single-Leg RDL, which works strength and flexibility in the hamstrings and hips. Roberts said, “Hamstrings and groin are prone to injury, so keeping those areas strong and mobile is going to prevent injury.”
For the second circuit, Roberts worked Slide Boards for time, to develop explosiveness and improve his endurance; a Heavy Leg Press for strength and power; and a Walking Lunge—another exercise he performs under time—to hit on strength, flexibility and more endurance.
Said Roberts: “Your legs are going to be a huge factor in your performance. Whether it’s hitting, fielding a ground ball or trying to get your feet back under you, keeping your agility, quickness and power in your legs is everything.”
Watch the videos (above) for Lower-Body Circuits 1 and 2, respectively.