Fielder with the Texas Rangers
|Texas Rangers – No. 84|
|First baseman / Designated hitter|
Born: May 9, 1984|
|June 13, 2005, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||1,028|
|Career highlights and awards|
Prince Semien Fielder (born May 9, 1984) is an American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played for the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the Brewers out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida, and spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Brewers before signing with the Detroit Tigers in January 2012. In November 2013, he was traded to the Rangers, where he ended his playing career due to injury.
Fielder is a six-time All-Star and was previously the iron man leader for consecutive games played with 547 consecutive games. The streak ended in May 2014 when Fielder underwent season-ending neck surgery. He holds the Brewers' team record for home runs in a season, and is the league's youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season. He became the first Brewer to win the Home Run Derby, defeating Nelson Cruz in the final round of the 2009 derby. He also won the 2012 derby, joining Ken Griffey, Jr. and Yoenis Céspedes as the only players to win more than one derby and becoming the first player to win the Derby as both an American League and a National League All-Star.
On August 10, 2016, Fielder announced that he would be unable to continue his playing career after undergoing a second neck surgery in three years. Although Fielder is not officially retired, he will spend the remaining four years of his contract on the 60-day disabled list. He ended his career with 319 home runs, the same number as his father, Cecil Fielder. Prince and Cecil Fielder are also the only father-son combination to each hit 50 MLB home runs in a season.
Fielder was born right-handed, but at a very young age was converted to being a left-handed hitter by his father, Cecil Fielder. Fielder was a fixture around his father's teams' clubhouses growing up. He appeared with his father on MTV Rock N' Jock Softball. When his father played for Detroit, Prince would sometimes come along for batting practice. Fielder hit a home run into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium as a 12-year-old.
Fielder attended Saint Edward's School in Vero Beach, Florida, for two years, where he played junior varsity baseball. Fielder spent his first three years of high school playing at Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Florida. He then transferred to Eau Gallie High School, located in the Eau Gallie neighborhood of Melbourne, to play baseball there his senior year (2002). He hit .524 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, 41 RBIs, and 47 runs in his senior year. He was named by Florida Today as the All-Space Coast Player of the Year in 2002.
Minor league baseball
The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Fielder in the first round, with the seventh overall selection, of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft. He signed with the Brewers, and began his professional career in minor league baseball with the Ogden Raptors of the Rookie-level Pioneer League. He was promoted to the Beloit Snappers of the Class A Midwest League that season. Fielder spent the 2003 season with Beloit, and was promoted to the Huntsville Stars of the Class AA Southern League for the 2004 season.
Milwaukee Brewers (2005–2011)
Fielder earned his first call-up to Major League Baseball on June 13, 2005. He served as the designated hitter for the Brewers during interleague play. With Lyle Overbay serving as the Brewers' regular first baseman, Fielder was sent back down to the Sounds after the end of interleague play. Fielder was again called up to the Majors on August 17, 2005, and went on to finish the season with the Brewers, where he was used as a pinch-hitter. He was the 6th-youngest player in the league.
On June 15, 2005, he collected his first major league hit, a double, off Hideo Nomo, and drove in his first big league run with his second hit of the night at Tampa Bay.
Fielder did not get off to a great start in the 2006 regular season, going 0–9 with 7 strikeouts. In his twelfth at-bat, Fielder delivered a game-winning hit that drove home Geoff Jenkins for the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fielder was named the National League's Rookie of the Month for April. With his eighteenth home run of the year, Fielder broke the Brewers' rookie home run record previously held by Greg Vaughn.
On August 13, 2007, Fielder was featured on a magazine cover for the first time when he was featured on the August 13, 2007, issue of ESPN The Magazine.
On September 15, 2007, Fielder broke the Brewers franchise record for home runs in a season, hitting his forty-sixth in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. The record was previously jointly held by Richie Sexson (twice) and Gorman Thomas.
On September 25, Fielder became the youngest player ever to reach fifty home runs in a season, joining his estranged father in the exclusive club. Fielder has stated that he hopes to surpass his father's total of 51 home runs in a season (1990) as a way of exorcising the demons that have come with being the son of a prominent major leaguer. "A lot of people said that's the only reason I got drafted... I don't mind people comparing me to him but I'm a completely different player. One day I want people to mention my name and not have to mention his", Fielder has said. Earlier in the season, Cecil Fielder had told a magazine that it was his famous name that led to his son being such a highly touted prospect. The younger Fielder also saw his contention in the 2007 NL MVP race as a way of proving his father wrong, but gets little else from the rift but motivation saying, "You've got to look at who's saying it. Let's be honest. He's not really the brightest guy."
Fielder ranked first in the National League in home runs (50) in his MVP-caliber 2007 season, was second in slugging percentage to teammate Ryan Braun (.618), second in at bats per home run (11.5) and OPS (1.013), third in RBIs (119) and extra base hits (87), fourth in total bases (354) and hit by pitch (14), fifth in intentional walks (21) and sacrifice flies (8), seventh in runs (109) and times on base (269), and ninth in walks (90).
In 2007, he led all major league first basemen in errors, with fourteen, and was last among eligible major league first basemen in range factor (8.49).
Unable to come up with an agreement for a long-term contract with the Brewers, Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras, signed a one-year, $670,000 deal with the Brewers. Fielder was quoted saying, "I'm not happy about it at all", showing his disappointment in not being able to reach an agreement with the club.
On June 19, Fielder hit the second inside-the-park home run of his career, against the Toronto Blue Jays.
On August 4, Fielder and teammate Manny Parra got into a scuffle in the dugout during a game against the Cincinnati Reds in which Parra was the starting pitcher. They were having a brief conversation, which led to Parra throwing his jacket down and Fielder shoving him. Fielder had to be restrained by teammates Ray Durham, Dave Bush, J. J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, and pitching coach Mike Maddux. ESPN reported that night that the dispute was over Parra heading back to the clubhouse after being pulled from the game instead of staying in the dugout to watch the Brewers bat in the next inning. Baseball Tonight also reports the exchange was started when Parra told Fielder to "get off his fat ass and play defense." Manager Ned Yost said reporters asking questions about the incident was as rude as "going over to the neighbors' house after they've been fighting and asking about it."
Fielder was named the National League Player of the Week for the week of September 15–21 after he batted .462, with 27 total bases, six doubles, 11 RBIs, .533 on-base percentage, and a 1.038 slugging percentage.
Fielder ended the 2008 regular season with a .276 batting average, 34 home runs, 102 RBIs, 86 runs and 84 walks. The Brewers finished 90–72, earning the NL Wild Card on the final day of the regular season, their first postseason berth as a National League club and their first since losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. They faced the Philadelphia Phillies and were eliminated in four. Fielder hit the Brewers' only home run of the series, in Game 4.
After the 2008 season Fielder was seeking an $8 million salary in 2009, while the Brewers filed for $6 million. On January 23 the Brewers and Fielder avoided arbitration and finalized a two-year $18 million contract.
Fielder was one of four NL first basemen who made the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, joining starter Albert Pujols and fellow reservists Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Howard. Fielder won the 2009 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby in St Louis. Fielder began the Derby with a Rickie Weeks bat, but quickly switched to one of Ryan Braun's because it was longer and gave him more plate coverage. He made the finals with seventeen home runs after the first two rounds, eliminating local favorites Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard. He then beat former Brewers teammate Nelson Cruz with six homers in the final round. His twenty-three long balls tied for the sixth-most in the Derby's history. He also hit the longest home run of the Derby at 503 feet.
On August 4, Fielder was involved in an incident with Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Guillermo Mota. With two outs in the ninth inning, Mota hit Fielder with a pitch on the leg, apparently in retaliation for Mota's teammate Manny Ramirez being hit in the hand by Brewers pitcher Chris Smith. Mota was ejected. After the 17–4 Dodgers victory, Fielder went to the Dodgers clubhouse in an effort to confront Mota. The Dodgers security guards stopped Fielder from entering, though the incident was captured by a television crew. Both Mota and Fielder were fined by Major League Baseball for their roles in the incident.
Fielder had a good September. While playing the San Francisco Giants on September 6, Fielder hit his third career walk-off home run in the 12th inning. The Brewers' subsequent home plate celebration sparked a minor controversy due to its unusual style. Then, on September 19, Fielder set the Brewers' single-season record for RBIs at 127, beating Cecil Cooper's 1983 record of 126. He set this record during a game against the Houston Astros—the team Cooper was managing at the time. The record-breaking RBI was a sacrifice fly, scoring Mike Cameron. He finished the season with 141 RBIs, which surpassed his father's career high of 133 in 1991.
Fielder finished tied for first in the National League in RBIs with Ryan Howard, and second in home runs with 46. He is one of three players in Brewers franchise history to have 100 or more RBIs in three consecutive seasons, along with Richie Sexson (2001–03) and Ryan Braun (2008–10).
In 2011, Fielder batted .299, led the National League in intentional walks (32, a Brewers record), was second in the league in home runs (38), and was third in slugging percentage (.566). On defense, he led the majors in errors committed by a first baseman (15) and had the lowest fielding percentage of all first basemen (.990). Through 2011, he had the second-highest career slugging percentage (.540) and OPS (.929) of any player in Brewers history, behind Braun, and was second in career home runs (230) to Robin Yount.
Detroit Tigers (2012–2013)
Following the 2011 World Series, Fielder became a free agent. On January 26, 2012 Fielder agreed to a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers to play first base and bat clean-up in the Tigers batting order. It was the largest contract in the history of the Detroit Tigers, surpassing Miguel Cabrera's contract of 8 years and $185.3 million. The Tigers acquired Fielder to replace the bat of an injured Victor Martinez, the everyday designated hitter in 2011. The acquisition of Fielder, who had only played first base in his career, required 2008–2011 first baseman Miguel Cabrera to move to third, which Cabrera was notably happy to do.
Fielder hit his first two home runs as a Tiger on April 7, 2012, in a 10–0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. In his first season in the American League, he was voted to the 2012 All-Star team as a starter. It is his fourth All-Star appearance overall. Fielder was also selected by American League captain, Robinson Canó, to participate in the 2012 Home Run Derby.
On July 9, 2012, Fielder became the 2012 Home Run Derby champion, hitting 12 home runs in the third and final round over José Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is Fielder's second win in the derby, his first coming in 2009. Fielder became the first participant to win for both the National and American League, and joined Ken Griffey, Jr. as the only two players to win multiple Derbies.
Fielder finished the 2012 regular season with a career-best .313 batting average. He hit 30 home runs, giving him six straight seasons with at least 30 long balls, and drove in 108 runs for his fifth career 100-plus RBI season. He also had an on-base percentage of .412, his fourth straight season with an OBP above .400. He played in all 162 games for Detroit, his third such season in his career, and he led the American League in being hit by pitches (17). Some in the sports media have given Fielder at least partial credit for teammate Cabrera winning the Triple Crown of batting in 2012. With Fielder hitting behind him in the Tiger order, Cabrera's walks declined from 108 the previous season to just 66, giving him more opportunities to hit home runs and drive in runs. Cabrera would later confirm in a June 2013 Sports Illustrated article: "You can see a difference. They pitch to me more...I see a lot of good pitches."
The 2012 World Series was Fielder's first career trip to the World Series. He compiled only a .071 batting average (1-for-14) during the World Series as the Tigers were swept in four games at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. In Game 2 of the series, Fielder was hit on the shoulder by a pitch from Giant's starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. After Delmon Young hit a double down the left field line, Prince attempted to score. However, a relay throw from Gregor Blanco to Marco Scutaro to Buster Posey tagged Fielder out as he was sliding home. This became the first ever 7-4-2 putout in a World Series.
Fielder was named AL Player of the Week for April 8–14. He hit .632 during the week (12-for-19) with 11 RBIs and 22 total bases. He finished the month of April with a .301 batting average, 7 home runs, and 27 RBIs. On July 1, Fielder was voted in as a reserve infielder in the AL player balloting for the 2013 Major League All-Star Game. It was his fifth career All-Star selection. During the All-Star Game, he hit a lead-off triple in the ninth inning off of Jason Grilli, he did not score but the American League still won the game 3–0.
Fielder hit .279 during the 2013 regular season, and his 25 home runs was the lowest total in any of his eight full major league seasons until he hit only 23 in 2015. He did, however, drive in 106 runs, marking the sixth time he topped 100 in his career. Fielder also played all 162 games for the third straight season, and played in his 500th consecutive game on September 24. This followed a 327-game streak that was broken in September 2010, when he played for the Brewers. (He missed one game due to severe flu symptoms.) By the end of the 2013 season, he had played in 831 of his last 832 regular season games.
Fielder batted .278 in the ALDS against Oakland, registering 5 hits and 0 RBIs. In the 2013 ALCS he declined further, registering a .182 average with only 4 hits and 0 RBIs.
Texas Rangers (2014–present)
On November 20, 2013, Fielder was traded to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler and $30 million. In June 2014 Fielder underwent season ending neck surgery. At the time of his mid-season departure, he was batting .247 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI in 42 games. Fielder's then league-leading streak of 547 consecutive games started was ended.
Nearly halfway through the season Fielder led the AL in batting average and was selected as a reserve designated hitter for the MLB All Star Game in Cincinnati. It was Fielder's sixth appearance in the All-Star Game and his fourth selection in five seasons. He finished the 2015 season with a .305 batting average, 23 home runs, and 98 RBIs. He had to be very patient with his power, but he said "the way I'm hitting this year, I'm fine with it."
On April 29, 2016, in a game against the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the 6th inning, Fielder hit a sharp single through the shift to score Rougned Odor, making him and his father Cecil Fielder the 2nd father-son combo to both record 1,000 RBIs. On June 9, 2016, Fielder hit a home run off of Astros pitcher Collin McHugh that unexpectedly broke a fan's smartphone in the crowd. On July 20, it was revealed that Fielder was diagnosed with C4-C5 herniations in his neck, putting his career in jeopardy. Fielder announced in a press conference on August 10 that, while he was not retiring, he would not be able to continue playing professional baseball due to his injuries.
Fielder was named after the musician Prince. He married his wife Chanel in 2005 during the Triple-A All-Star break while playing for the Nashville Sounds. They have two children named Jadyn and Haven. Fielder filed for divorce in May 2013. By March 2014, he and his wife had reconciled.
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs batted in leaders
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First basemen Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Price Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, who tied for the league lead in RBI
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prince Fielder.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Prince Fielder Interview at Baseball Digest Daily – June 2006
- Prince Fielder Video on FoxSports Video Archive
- Prince Fielder on Twitter