The Secret Behind Dexter Fowler’s Red-Hot Start this Season

By now, I’m assuming you all know the story of Dexter Fowler’s offseason exploits in the free agent market but in case you don’t, here’s a refresher. He received a qualifying offer from the Cubs and turned it down to be a free agent. If another team signed him they would have been required to compensate the Cubs with their top draft pick.

With a rich 2015 free agent market already consisting of big-time outfielders like Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon, no team stepped forward with the big multi-year deal that Dexter was seeking. So, he gracefully decided to take it in stride and re-sign a short term deal with the Cubs, where he could prove his value on the field and come back to the free agent market in 2016, which won’t have the same type of big names that 2015 had.

Dexter has started this season red-hot and he’s currently the Cubs top offensive player. Here’s a chart from FanGraphs showing MLB leaders through April 18, 2016, sorted by fWAR. Yes, you’re reading that correctly, Fowler already has a 1.5 fWAR, which for this point in the season is very high and is why he tops the Majors. In comparison, Dexter’s fWAR for the entire 2015 season was 3.2. He’s on pace to shatter that this year.

Fowler FanGraphs 2016.04.19

Fowler is also in the top five in several other offensive categories such as BABIP(3), AVG(5), OBP(2), Off(1), wOBA(3).

So what’s his secret? Hard work. You see, during the off-season, as the holidays were causing most of us to take it easy and maybe pack on a few extra pounds, Dexter was hitting the weight room and working out like a mad man. He showcased some of his workouts on Twitter (below). The idea was to show the world that he was killing some serious workouts and was going to be better than ever in 2016. Fortunately for the Cubs, the other teams chose to ignore his hard work. I bet they wish they hadn’t.






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