Skip to content

When will Prince Fielder start hitting like Prince Fielder?

Apr 29, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Prince Fielder Getty Images

Moving from the Tigers to the Rangers and their hitter-friendly ballpark was supposed to help get Prince Fielder back on track after a solid but unspectacular 2013 season that saw him set career-lows in homers, slugging percentage, and OPS.

Instead he’s off to a terrible start in Texas, hitting .200 with two homers and a .643 OPS through 26 games. Not surprisingly Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters that he’s confident Fielder will turn things around soon:

I don’t lack confidence in Prince Fielder one iota. I don’t care about average. I don’t care that he has two home runs. I don’t care that [catcher Robinson] Chirinos has one RBI more than him. I know you guys are searching to find out. If we knew, we’d have fixed it. We’ve just got to wait. I’ve got patience.

That’s all reasonable and I’m certainly the last person in the world to portray a good hitter’s struggles for the first month of the season as a huge deal, but here’s the thing: Fielder hasn’t been himself for a while now.

Dating back to the beginning of last season he’s now hit .268 with a .358 on-base percentage and .438 slugging percentage in 188 games and 825 plate appearances. Those are decent numbers for some random player, but not for a guy with a $214 million contract and a .550 slugging percentage over the previous six seasons.

Detroit (and now Texas) paid Fielder huge money to put up huge numbers offensively and he’s nearing 200 games of not doing that, which is a big problem for a guy who brings nothing to the table defensively. He’ll no doubt get on track and start producing for the Rangers, but are we nearing the point where it’s reasonable to ask if Fielder’s days of being an elite slugger could be gone?

He’ll turn 30 years old in two weeks and Fielder is under contract for $24 million per season through 2020.

Latest Posts
  1. HBT Daily: the Sox are shopping Lester . . . and Lackey too?

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    The Sox are in last place and are going nowhere. Time to deal starters?

  2. Watch Clayton Kershaw play William Tell with Jimmy Kimmel

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw Clayton Kershaw

    He’s a braver man than I am. By that I mean Kershaw for going on Kimmel’s show.

  3. Gerrit Cole throws five shutout innings in rehab start

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT

    Gerrit Cole Gerrit Cole

    On the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole tossed five shutout innings Monday in a minor-league rehab start at Triple-A.

  4. Once healthy, Brandon Morrow will likely rejoin the Blue Jays as a reliever

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Brandon Morrow Brandon Morrow

    Brandon Morrow was one of the league’s best starters in 2012, but he’s been an injured mess since then, including a current disabled list stint for a torn tendon in his right index finger.

  5. Great Moments in Steroids Derp

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

    140724-frank-thomas-1000 Getty Images

    Call me crazy, but I think Maddux, Glavine and Thomas woulda made the Hall of Fame even if Congress didn’t hold steroids hearings.

  6. Most people in L.A. still can’t see Dodgers games. There’s some progress though. Kinda.

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    dodgers logo

    As in: one side of two warring factions has agreed to a resolution. Unfortunately, it takes two to tango.

  7. “Disinterested” Felix Doubront sure seems like he’s trying to get the Red Sox to trade him

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Four Getty Images

    Two days ago Felix Doubront talked at length about how he wants to be back in Boston’s rotation following a demotion to the bullpen and, if the Red Sox aren’t willing to use him as a starter again, he wants to be traded.

  8. Discarded by the Twins, Vance Worley has turned his career around with the Pirates

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

    Vance Worley AP

    Last night Worley tossed a complete-game shutout against the Giants, improving to 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 50 innings for the Pirates.

  9. Must-click link: sexual depravity — and possibly rape — in the minor leagues

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    Click Here large

    Dirk Hayhurst takes a graphic look at depravity and likely illegality in the low minor leagues.

  10. Neil Walker turned a fantastic double play last night

    Jul 29, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Neil Walker

    Ask yourself: how does a dude in this position — leaning in the opposite direction of first base — turn and get anything on his throw?

  11. Yu Darvish: “I just blame the parents of Brett Gardner”

    Jul 29, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

    Brett Gardner AP

    This is one of those quotes that, if the translation was mangled, could have created an incident.

  12. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:00 AM EDT

    Marlins celebration Getty Images

    A three run lead and Rafael Soriano on the hill usually leads to an un-tuck fest. Not last night it didn’t.

  13. Report: Red Sox open to trading both Jon Lester and John Lackey

    Jul 28, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT

    red sox logo

    The Red Sox hold some interesting cards going into Thursday’s trade deadline.

  14. VIDEO: Derek Jeter passes Carl Yastrzemski for seventh on all-time hits list

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:26 PM EDT

    648bbcda87835c87e67dd6081897c327 Getty Images

    With three hits against the Rangers this evening, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has passed Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski for seventh-place on baseball’s all-time hit list.

  15. Brandon Belt is making progress from his concussion, but Hector Sanchez needs more time

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT

    giants logo

    The Giants currently have two players sidelined with concussions. Brandon Belt appears closer to returning than Hector Sanchez.

  16. Mark Teixeira hopes to return from lat strain on Tuesday

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

    Mark Teixeira AP AP

    Mark Teixeira is out of the Yankees’ starting lineup for the eighth straight game tonight due to a lower lat strain, but he’s aiming to make his return tomorrow.

  17. Blue Jays acquire Danny Valencia from Royals for Erik Kratz and Liam Hendriks

    Jul 28, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Danny Valencia Getty Getty Images

    It’s not a big deal, but the Blue Jays and Royals have pulled off a trade this evening which will send infielder Danny Valencia to Toronto and catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks to Kansas City.

  18. The Mariners and Orioles have called the Red Sox about Jon Lester

    Jul 28, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT

    Jon Lester Jon Lester

    We heard yesterday that the Dodgers have been in touch with the Red Sox about a deal for left-hander Jon Lester, but they figure to have plenty of competition leading up to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

Featured video

Red Sox shopping Lester and Lackey
Top 10 MLB Player Searches