Offseason conditioning pays off for Tomas

Offseason conditioning pays off for Tomas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Yasmany Tomas reported for his first Major League Spring Training last season, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said he "needs to get in better shape."

Tomas lost his starting third-baseman job to Jake Lamb and was subsequently optioned to Triple-A Reno in order to get more at-bats. Looking to play the outfield, Tomas spent this past offseason in Arizona to achieve his goal.

The 25-year-old came into his second spring looking slimmer, a direct result of the workouts. It's something that has encouraged Hale.

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As a rookie in 2015, Tomas hit .273 with nine home runs and 48 RBIs while appearing in 118 games. After spending time at first base, third base, left field and right field as a rookie, Tomas is expected to primarily play left field in 2016.

"I wouldn't even call it weight loss," Hale said. "I would simply call it weight redistribution. He's a very strong human being. He's moving better. A lot of that was the agility drills he did, and a lot of that is just being comfortable out in the outfield."

Tomas tailed off towards the end of 2015, with his batting average and overall production dropping off in each month from July through the end of the season. Some of it is understandable -- after all, it can take a newcomer a while to adjust to a full, 162-game schedule. Another part of it, and something Hale said Tomas will work on, is conditioning.

Tomas' running catch

"We noticed a real tail off in the second half, physically, so he has to get used to that," Hale said. "Living here all winter in Phoenix and getting his body in shape, he's ready to go for 162."

It has paid off thus far in Spring Training, where Tomas has hit .440 through his first 25 at-bats and shown power with five doubles, including a 1-for-3 performance in Friday's 7-5 win over the Indians. He has also struck out just six times, something that plagued him for much of the second half of the season last year.

Hale said a change in Tomas' approach since missing time with a knee injury earlier this month has been the key to limiting his strikeouts.

"[First-base coach] Dave [McKay] and [assistant hitting coach Mark Grace] really got to him," Hale said. "They worked really hard in the pregame workouts at getting his stance more into his legs and more balanced, where he can see the ball better and not strike out because he puts the barrel on the ball."

Fabian Ardaya is a correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.