10 MLB Players We Wished Competed in Individual Olympic Sports
If we were fortunate enough to witness MLB athletes in the 2012 Olympic games this summer, there are a certain few players we'd like to see the most.
The common misconception is that most baseball players aren't athletes. And while this is a horrible generalization, there are quite a few players in MLB who could match up athletically with many of the elite athletes in the world.
But even if these ballplayers couldn't compete with the professionals in the Olympic games, it'd still be entertaining to see what they're capable of doing outside of baseball.
100-Meter Dash: Mike Trout
Mike Trout is fast.
Is he the fastest player in baseball?
That's certainly debatable. Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds and Tony Campana of the Chicago Cubs certainly belong in that discussion.
But as reported by Mark Saxon of ESPN, Los Angeles Angels third-base coach Dino Ebel recorded Trout running from home to first in 3.53 seconds.
Considering he's a right-handed hitter with some pop (Trout isn't just a slap-hitter), that's pretty much as quick as lightning.
I'm sure Trout wouldn't fare too well against professional sprinters, but it'd certainly be entertaining to see how he'd match up against the world's elite.
Swimming: Hunter Pence
What makes Michael Phelps so dominant at swimming is that his body was built for the water.
He has unique physical characteristics, such as a tall, lanky frame and a large wingspan, that make him glide through the water at abnormal speeds.
Hunter Pence is built much like Phelps, as he is probably the lankiest yet well-built player in baseball.
I don't even know if Pence can swim, but he does have the frame to potentially be quite good at it.
Lightweight Boxing: Coco Crisp
He'd have to work on his punching power, but I'd say Coco Crisp's ability to evade punches and counter makes him ready to step into the ring.
High Jump: Yoenis Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes is a freak of nature.
You can tell how strong he is just by just looking at him with his baseball jersey on, which is saying a lot.
Look at this video to watch his 45" box jump.
Doing the high jump is a little different than the box jump, but Cespedes' athletic abilities are undeniable. I'm sure he'd be able to hold his own in any athletic event.
Diving: Prince Fielder
Who wouldn't want to see Prince Fielder jump off a 10-meter spring board?
It would probably be the most viewed event of the entire 2012 Summer Olympics.
It would probably be a little shocking to see Fielder in a Speedo, but it would definitely be worth it in the end; especially if he said "to hell with it" with regards to the scoring and opted for a cannonball.
If the Olympic Committee is trying to make some money, they'd be smart to entertain this idea.
Shot Put: C.C. Sabathia
C.C. Sabathia is one large man.
Standing at 6'7" and 290 pounds, he's easily one of the biggest players in baseball.
Not only would his large frame benefit him in the shot put, but he is also a pitcher.
Although a shot is pushed rather than thrown like a baseball or a football, Sabathia would stand the best chance at competing in the shot put.
Discus: Mike Stanton
I don't care what event it is, I'd just want to see Mike Stanton put his brute strength on display in some way, shape or form.
In case you haven't seen this, Mike Stanton hit a home run in batting practice last year that went under the coke bottle in left field at AT&T Park.
I don't want to come out and call Stanton the strongest player in baseball, but he can hit a baseball farther than anyone in the world. I'm sure that can translate into throwing a discus.
Weight Lifting: Dan Uggla
In a perfect world, Prince Fielder would be anyone's first choice for weight lifting.
However, he's already been assigned to diving, so the next in line would be Dan Uggla.
The Atlanta Braves' second baseman has the perfect build for a weight-lifter.
He's short but stocky, and you can tell that he's a gym rat just by looking at him gripping a bat at the plate.
Matt Holliday would be another interesting candidate to see lifting weights in the Olympics, but you can't go wrong with either of them.
Decathlon: Matt Kemp
In case you haven't heard, Ashton Eaton broke the world record for the decathlon on Saturday in the Olympic Trials that are being held in Eugene, Ore.
The decathlon is the ultimate representation of athleticism, as the 10 events that constitute one are the 100, 400 and 1,500-meter sprints, 110-meter hurdles, long jump, shot put, high jump, discus throw, pole vault and the javelin throw.
The first person to come to mind with the rare combination of power and speed is Matt Kemp—the man who missed the 40/40 club by one home run in 2011.
I'm not going to say that Kemp would go out and break world records like Eaton did, but Kemp is one of the few baseball players who'd be able to compete in all of the events of the decathlon.
Triathlon: Carl Crawford
It could be argued that Carl Crawford is the most athletic player in baseball.
Just like Matt Kemp, he's one of the few athletes who possesses the rare combination of power and speed.
Here's a very interesting read by Rob Bradford on Crawford's guide to becoming baseball's best athlete.
While I'm not willing to vouch for Crawford's ability to either cycle of swim, I am sure that he'd be able to hold his own in any athletic competition.
I mean, very few people in baseball can hit 18 home runs and steal 58 bases in one year.