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Dmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss

(John McDonnell / TWP and via @Nationals)

Over the weekend, Dmitri Young visited with some former D.C. baseball friends in Cincinnati, leading to a couple unbelievable photos of the former plus-sized star. And three days later, it’s still kind of impossible to believe that the guy on the right is Dmitri Young. That is not the same human who played baseball in Washington, becoming a large fan favorite on a team with a shortage of fan favorites.

(The photo on the left is from 2008.)

“I’m down to 205 pounds, and I did it the right way,” Young told Charlie Slowes on 106.7 The Fan, before Friday’s game. “I went to a doctor, a preventative doctor, and he told me ‘You want to get off the medicine, lose three inches.’ I’m like, forget that, let’s lose six. And then I started doing a lot of cardio, the weight started peeling off, and at that point I started working out. And I’m to this size right now, and very very healthy….

“I still have to take a shot of NovoLog before each meal, but other than that I’m golden,” said Young, who has battled Type 2 diabetes for years. “I feel better, look better. I didn’t look like this when I played.”

It’s true. He didn’t. In the spring of 2008, in fact, Young weighed-in at around 291 pounds. That’s 85 pounds of difference, although it sure appears to be even more dramatic. This is what he looked like in 2011, when he was already down 70 pounds.

Anyhow, Young said he was in Cincinnati on Friday working with a program run by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to help provide exposure to black youth baseball players. He said he’s also been assisting ex-Nats teammate Robert Fick, who’s coaching youth teams as part of Adam Kennedy’s baseball organization in Southern California.

Young said he’s worked as a Major League spring training instructor in the past, and — like Fick — is ready to pursue a more prominent position on the minor-league side.

“That is Robert’s calling,” Young said of Fick. “I think he’s going to make a fine coach one day, once these teams and organizations realize what an asset Robert is. As well as myself — we’ll both be back in baseball…I think I’m ready now. I’m serious Charlie, I am.”

And Young still had positive words for the Nats, the team that helped him win the 2007 NL comeback player of the year award.

“You know what, that was a redemption year for me in 2007, and it just so happened I was around a lot of great people,” Young said. “We may not have won as many games as people may have wanted, but you know what, we had a lot of great guys over there. The Robert Ficks, the Ray Kings, I love those guys. And then the franchise, Ryan Zimmerman. I mean, what more can we say about that guy?

“It’s great to see the Washington Nationals playing great baseball, being in first place,” Young went on. “The team was destined for that. I knew that before my retirement, and I’m glad to see that happening now for the organization and the city.”

So will he be appearing at Nats Park any time soon?

“Hey, you know what, they invite me, I’ll be there,” Young told Slowes. “I would love to throw out a first pitch. ‘The 2007 National League Comeback Player of the Year.’ And then they have a picture of me, the fat one, where I look like I’m running the bases with my fat belly, and then they see me come out like this. It would be like a Weight Watchers commercial.”