Friday, February 11, 2005

Prince Fielder Report

Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
Drafted 7th Overall, 2002 Draft, HS, Melbourne, FL
Bats L/Throws R
20 YO, 6'0", 240 lbs

You know all of those scouts who ooh and aah over bloodlines and family histories? This is what they're looking for. Fielder is the spitting image of his father. He's a big, stocky power hitter who can smash a ball so far that no corner of the parking is safe from a broken windshield. But of course if you're interested enough in prospects that you're reading this blog, you certainly know all of this already.

Unlike his father, Fielder is a well rounded hitter. He can take the ball the other way. He draws plenty of walks. He makes good contact. He has no real glaring weaknesses that pitchers can exploit. He spent all year in Huntsville and posted the following line:

2004: .272/.366/.473, 29 2B, 23 HR, 65 BB, 93 K, 497 AB
Career: .299/.401/.510, 70 2B, 63 HR, 183 BB, 227 K, 1257 AB

He was playing well ahead of his age group, so I'm not worried about the slight dip in his numbers. He more than held his own in the high minors at a very young age, and for that he remains one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

His lone weakness is more of a potential weakness than a current weakness. He HAS to manage his weight carefully, maintaining a strict fitness regimen of diet and exercise. If he doesn't maintain his weight, he could easily become a severe defensive liability at first base. He really doesn't have the option of moving to an outfield corner because of his girth. He's alright at first base right now, but he's not going to win any awards.

One thing that you probably didn't notice was that Fielder attempted 18 steals this season. Why? I have no idea. I'd prefer to see him not attempt any basepath antics from here on out. Very few things are more embarrassing than watching a player who looks like an offensive lineman lumber into a waiting defender, ball in glove. Stick to what you do well, and in Fielder's case, that's hitting the snot out of the ball.

ETA: Late 2005
4 1/2 Stars

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