This is a big year for Nick Franklin.
The 21-year-old Seattle Mariners prospect has spent parts of the past four seasons bouncing around the minor leagues, and this could be the year that he breaks in with the big league club.
So how did Franklin prepare for this season? By eating everything he could.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the 6-foot-1 Franklin finished the 2012 campaign at a measly 162 pounds, and he knew that wouldn't be enough to get him through an entire year.
So in the offseason Franklin started a 6,500-calorie-a-day diet, and he showed up to camp 34 pounds heavier.
"Last year, during the season, I felt my body starting to collapse on me," Franklin told Baker. "At the end of August, I weighed 162 pounds and I was hitting balls to the gap that probably should have been out and they ended up going off the wall. One of them bounced to the wall. Those balls could have been out, so I wanted to put a lot of weight on and try to get to at least 200 pounds by the end of the spring, take the season from there and see whether I can maintain it."
To get to 6,500 calories, Franklin worked with performance coach Jeff Higuera on a beefy meal plan. Normally, Franklin would take down several 500-calorie shakes per day, along with three 1,500-calorie meals. Breakfast was six scrambled eggs and a protein shake while lunch was often a Burrito Bowl from Chipotle. Sometimes Franklin added a chicken sandwich from Chik-Fil-A to the pre-supper mix as well. For dinner, Franklin said he enjoyed the chicken alfredo pasta from Carrabba's Italian Grill.
Throughout the process of putting on weight, Franklin and Higuera worked together to ensure that Franklin wouldn't lose any of his mobility or strength.
But perhaps the most difficult part of the entire process for Franklin was simply eating all the time.
"Honestly, there are some days where I just want to let it all go," Franklin told Baker. "It's hard to hold it down sometimes. Other than that, I feel like I'm on a full stomach the entire day. There's not one point where I'm hungry. I'm always full when I'm eating, let's just say that. I'm always eating when I'm not supposed to be eating."
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