Which non-OCR athletes would make the best Spartan racers? It's a question we love to consider and fantasize about. Which basketball, football, hockey, and baseball players have the perfect blend of speed, strength, endurance, and mobility necessary to crush it on the course? Who would dominate the Spear Throw and the Rope Climb? Who would power past the Monkey Bars and handle the Tire Flip like it's nothing?
Back in 2019, former Major League Baseball outfielder and Spartan racer Eric Byrnes gave us the five MLB players that he thought would make the most competitive Spartans. These guys, he reasoned, were built like Spartans, had the right amount of athleticism, and had the necessary mental fortitude to manhandle the competition.
Three years later, we're back with version 2.0. Which professional baseball players would thrive on the course? This time we asked Brandon Guyer for his list. Guyer, who spent seven years in the big leagues — he led the league in HPB (hit by pitch) twice and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series — is the founder of Major League Mindset, which helps athletes gain confidence and mental toughness. In 2021, he finished in the top 10 in his first Elite heat at the Spartan Stadion race at Nationals Park.
Here are the four MLB players — plus one manager — that Guyer predicts would compete at an Elite level on the Spartan course.
5 MLB Players That Would Crush a Spartan Race
Shohei Ohtani - Pitcher/Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels
Accomplishments: 2021 AL All-Star, 2021 AL MVP, 2021 All-MLB First Team, 2021 AL Triples leader, 2021 AP Athlete of the Year, 2018 AL Rookie of the Year
Brandon's Take: Let’s be honest: If he can be a dominant hitter and pitcher in the big leagues, why couldn’t he be a great Spartan racer? Speed. Strength. Skills. Mentality. He’s got it all. My money is on him to hit the Spear Throw every time, as well.
Yan Gomes - Catcher, Chicago Cubs
Accomplishments: 2019 World Series champion, 2018 All-Star, 2014 Silver Slugger Award winner
Brandon's Take: I've trained with him, and the dude gets after it! There is no quit in him, and he's in crazy good shape. He has the mindset and work ethic needed to be a great Spartan racer. It must be the Brazilian blood in him. He's a close second behind Ohtani.
Mookie Betts - Right Fielder, Los Angeles Dodgers
Accomplishments: Five-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove Award winner, two-time World Series champion, 2020 All-MLB First Team, 2018 AL batting champion, 2018 AL MVP, the only player selected to both Spartan-MLB top 5 lists
Brandon's Take: What can't he do? Mookie is a freak athlete. He's an MVP and a world champion, and just to show how insanely talented, skilled, and committed he is, he also bowled a perfect 300. Ridiculous.
Kevin Kiermaier - Center Fielder, Tampa Bay Rays
Accomplishments: Three-time Gold Glove Award winner, 2015 Platinum Glove Award winner
Brandon's Take: His combination of size, speed, and strength is unreal. This dude can cover some serious ground, and has the mentality needed to be a great Spartan racer. With those looks, he could easily be the face of Spartan, as well.
Gabe Kapler - Manager, San Francisco Giants; Former MLB Outfielder
Accomplishments: 2021 NL Manager of the Year, 2004 World Series champion
Brandon's Take: Kap is JACKED, and in better shape than many MLB players. It's safe to say he’d show up and do very well in a Spartan race.