Prince Fielder comes from prime baseball stock. The son of power hitter Cecil Fielder, Prince and his father are the only father-son combination in Major League Baseball history to each hit 50 homer in a single season.
Drafted by Milwaukee in 2002, the 28 year old first baseman went to the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 free agency. In January, Fielder signed a $214 million contract with Detroit. This signing tethers him to to team for the next nine years. He started his first game on April 5 and hit two home runs two days later on April 7.
Fielder has always been better at bat than on the base. In 2011 he maintained a .299 average. He also led the league in walks with 32 on the season. On defense, his numbers were less than stellar. He had the most errors committed by a first baseman and the lowest fielding percentage in the league. Despite his problems on base, Fielder came in third in the 2011 MVP race.
On May 27, Fielder celebrated his first four-hit game with the Tigers, culminating in a 6-3 victory over the Twins. His average currently stands at .311 on the season and experts suggest Fielder will be a huge factor in a possible championship run for Detroit, although most agree that run will not come this season.
Critics cite Fielder’s ineptitude on defense as a major factor in Detroit’s current losing record; however, the blame cannot be expected to fall on one player’s shoulders alone. Rick Porchello has had his share of erratic performances this season and managers Lloyd McLendon and Jim Leyland have made questionable decisions in several key games.
With 1043 hits and 237 home runs on his career, Fielder is certainly a powerful force against tough teams. The Tigers are bound to pull out of their slump and Prince Fielder is just the person to help them do it.