Who are the most athletic NBA, NFL and MLB players? Well let’s take a closer look at these basketball, football and baseball players. Everyone knows that professional athletes are some of the most physically gifted humans on the planet. They can run and jump faster than the average person and have impeccable hand-eye coordination to boot. In addition to their natural ability they often spend hours training their bodies to reach its optimum performance, which can often take their games to the next level. With this in mind, here are the top freak athletes in the 3 major sports!
Most Athletic NBA Player – LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat
There have been several amazing athletes of all shapes and sizes who have come and gone in the NBA. Players such as Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson come to mind. But perhaps none have possessed the rare combination of size, speed, power and strength of LeBron James of the Miami Heat. At 6’8” 250 lbs. (some players have speculated that he could be within the 260-275 range) with the speed of an All-Pro wide out (4.4 40 yard dash in high school) and a 44-inch vertical leap, James is a freak of nature on the basketball court and a force to be reckoned with. He is infamous for chasing down opposing players from half court and swatting their layup attempts off the backboard with such force that they often hear footsteps for the remainder of the game. He also utilizes every inch of his 7’0 wingspan to get into passing lanes for steals and finish alley-oops high above the rim. Those who marvel at James’ otherworldly physique assume that he has been lifting heavy weights. However, this has not always been the case. Ironically, James did not start lifting weights seriously until he was 23 years old and 5 years into his pro career according to Sports Illustrated. Nowadays, James lifts weights for 20-30 minutes a day and mixes in core exercises such as yoga and Pilates to round out his workout. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that LeBron is the best pure athlete in the game of basketball, and quite possibly in the world today.
Honorable Mention: Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic
Most Athletic NFL Player – Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
If you look up freak athlete in the dictionary, there is a good chance that you will see Calvin Johnson’s name under the definition. The 2nd overall pick by the Detroit Lions in 2007, Johnson is the ultimate weapon for an NFL quarterback. Simply throw the ball up in the air, often while facing double and triple (!) coverage, and there is a good chance Johnson will come down with it. Standing 6’5” and 235 lbs. the wide receiver known around the League as Megaton also boasts elite sprinter’s speed to go with his chiseled frame. At the NFL Combine, Johnson ran a blistering 4.3 in the 40-yard dash on more than one occasion, and posted an 11 ft. 7 inch broad jump which still stands as the best number recorded for a wide receiver. What really sets Johnson apart is his outstanding leaping ability, which at 43-inches, allows him to jump over much smaller cornerbacks in the red zone. Sports scientists have even recorded his maximum reach while airborne to be an astounding 12 ft. 5 inches, which is in fact greater than anyone currently playing in the NBA. Add in a 6’10” wingspan and Calvin Johnson is the cream of the crop when it comes to freak athletes in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Most Athletic MLB Player – Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
The most freakish athlete in the Big Leagues is Albert Pujols, the three-time MVP known as The Machine. He led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series victory last season and also in 2006 when he posted career-highs in home runs (49) and runs batted in (137). Pujols signed a huge contract this offseason to play for the Angels in the American League, which will prolong his career utilizing the designated hitter option. He will go down in the history books as one of the best hitters to ever swing a bat filling out every ounce of his 6-foot-3 frame. Home Run Derby’s with Albert in them are like watching rockets take off at the Kennedy Space Center. He doesn’t just hit 450-foot home runs with a career batting average of .328. Last season was a down year for Albert posting career-lows in batting average (.299) and RBIs (99) which would be a career year for most players. Oh and did I mention he’s won two Gold Gloves which are given to the best fielder at each position? So he’s baseball’s best all-around athlete and has been ever since he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2001. At age 32, Pujols is a surefire Hall of Famer who could break Barry Bond’s home run record if he plays another 10 or so years. Unlike Bonds, Pujols has never been linked to steroids or performance-enhancing drugs while still being about the same size physically, if not larger in stature.
Honorable Mention: Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins