Royals’ outfielder/DH Jose Guillen showed up to camp in Surprise, Arizona looking fit, like he was down at least 15-20 pounds.  Even Guillen himself admitted he had to play himself into shape last season.

It’s great to hear Guillen is coming into camp in shape this year.  He was joking that his pants were falling down and didn’t know how much weight he lost this year, but said he came into camp last year 20 pounds overweight, tipping the scales over 235.

I’m sure that led to his dismal month of April when Guillen hit just .183.  Once he got back into shape, he caught fire in May and June where he picked up just about half of his team leading stats.  In those two months Guillen hit 20 doubles, 10 homers and drove in 46 RBI.  He led the team in those categories finishing with 42 doubles, 20 home runs and 97 RBI, which doesn’t say much for the rest of his season.

The pressure of being the top guy in KC’s lineup must have gotten to Guillen after he signed his three year, $12 million contract.  He also had the possible suspension hanging over his head last spring from the Commissioner’s drug prevention program.  That 15 game suspension was upheld.

This year needs to be different.  It’s important the Royals get off to a good start.  With a fit Guillen, fewer off-field distractions, and the acquisition of power hitting first basemen Mike Jacobs, I’m expecting more from Guillen this season.