At one point last season Scott Schreiber weighed 250 pounds. That’s right, 250.
He’s 6-foot-3, so he can carry some weight, certainly. But he wasn’t comfortable that heavy. So the Husker senior has trimmed down this season. He expects to play at 220, 225.
“I feel quicker, have more energy, so that’s always a plus,” Schreiber said. “So I’ve just got to keep on top of that, especially when we start the season . . . things start to speed up.”
The season starts in two weeks. Things were speeding up when practice began.
Schreiber hasn’t necessarily identified an optimum weight and worked toward that. Rather, “for me, it’s just more eating healthy,” he said. “And whatever body weight you’re supposed to be . . . if you eat healthy, you’ll be whatever weight you’re supposed to be.”
Ironically, perhaps, Schreiber was lighter as a sophomore, when he led the Big Ten with 16 home runs, drove in 55 and had a .629 slugging percentage, while batting .325. He drove in 51 runs last season, and led the Huskers with a .330 batting average. But he hit only seven home runs.
There might have been a weight correlation. At his current 225, he has, “I would say, more energy,” and “my body won’t break down as easily during the season,” he said.
After deciding to return for his senior season at Nebraska – the Tampa Bay Rays drafted him in the 26th round of the June draft – he played in the wooden-bat Cape Cod League, along with Husker teammates Luis Alvarado and Chad Luensmann, for the Bourne (Ma.) Braves.
Schreiber batted .255 in 36 games, with three home runs and 17 RBIs.
Had he opted to sign with the Rays, Coach Darin Erstad would have supported him.
He “works hard and (is) just a tremendous student, tremendous person,” said Erstad. Schreiber, a mechanized systems management major, is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and has made the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll four times.
He’s on pace to complete a degree in the fall, Erstad said. For now, however, “he apparently had some unfinished (baseball) business to take care of,” and so came back.
“I definitely have something to prove,” Schreiber said. “I don’t want to put too much on my shoulders or anything like that.” But he has accepted the challenge, eating better, taking “a way different approach to taking care of my body, and putting in extra swings in the cages, doing all those type of things. So I’m excited to see how this season goes and how our team does.”
Dropping weight could also help in playing right field, where he played in only 20 games last season. He was the designated hitter in 36 games, and played first base once.
This season, he’s expecting to be a regular in right field.
That might have been a factor in his not being drafted until the 26th round. “I would say there’s always going to be doubters,” he said. “I think a big thing for me was not playing in the outfield each and every game. And then my power numbers were down a little bit last year. So those are things that, as a player, if you want to be great, you’re always trying to improve. Along with that, I’m trying to be a little more disciplined, trying to get my on-base percentage a little bit up this year.”
That might go up with his weight down. It’s the plan, anyway.
Mike is in his 40th year covering Husker athletics, after seven years of community-college teaching. He has written and edited a dozen books, all on Nebraska football except one, a brief history of Husker basketball. He previously wrote for the Lincoln Journal and Star and Huskers Illustrated. He enjoys music, from the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson to Van Morrison, Bob Wills, Glenn Miller and pretty much anyone else.