TEMPE, Ariz. — After getting derailed by injuries last season in New York, Santa Monica native Brennan Boesch is hoping that a return home will lead to a career reboot with the Los Angeles Angles.
2013 was a tough year for Boesch. He went from being a part of the 2012 American League Champion Detroit Tigers to being released in spring training to make room for star right fielder Tori Hunter. He slugged .523 in the first 23 games of the season with the injury ravaged New York Yankees before suffering a muscle tear, which later prompted the Yankees to release him to make room for Derek Jeter’s replacement.
“I’ve been through a lot in my young career so far,” the 25-year-old Boesch said, “ups and downs, twists and turns and I feel like my best years are in front of me.”
Boesch was a top-25 prospect while playing at Harvard-Westlake High School and an All-Pac-10 outfielder while playing for the University of California.
New York Mets infield prospect Josh Satin played with Boesch and is one of his best friends. Over the years, Satin witnessed his friend’s transformation from a boy to what he is today.
“I first met him when I was in ninth grade,” Satin said. “He was tall, lean, not that big. But year after year, he worked at getting bigger and bigger until by the time we were 20 years old, he was a monster.”
After suffering numerous injuries, Boesch realized that his bodybuilding-like off-season approach has betrayed him and has prompted him to rethink everything and focus on being more flexible.
“In the past it was more about bulking up and a lot of olympic lifts,” Boesch said. “[This off-season] I spent most of my time on shoulder and upper body flexibility. I had gotten overly built so I leaned out quite a bit. I changed my diet up, too, and just really paid attention to what I’ve eaten and be discipline in that regard.
“Now I don’t care what the scale said. It’s all about being lean and flexible and making sure I have that flexibility so I can have a smoother swing.”
It’s a smart move on Boesch’s part. New York Mets superstar David Wright had his season hampered by a hamstring injury in August and as a result, he focused on making his equally large, strong, athletic body more flexible in an effort to, “make sure it’s a one-time thing and not a reoccurring injury.”
“You can never be too flexible,” Wright said. “There’s so much twisting and turning and rotation stuff in this game that the more flexible you are, the better chance you have.”
There are plenty of young outfielders trying to break camp with the Angels but that’s not the reality in Boesch’s mind. For him, it’s a competition with himself and he truly believes that when the April showers are bringing May flowers, he’ll be in the Angels lineup as an outfielder.
“I’m a Major League starting outfielder,” Boesch said. “There’s only 90 guys in the whole world that get to say that and I believe without a doubt that I’m one of those 90 people on the planet. I’ll take it another step further and say I believe I can play at an All-Star level.”