Well, um, yeah, it looks like there will be no bounce back for the Prince Fielder.
As a guy who has believed in Prince Fielder since the start of the season…and drafted him everywhere…and recommended buying low on him everywhere…and bought him everywhere, this is a prettay huge blow for all of my teams. The healthiest and most consistent player in baseball has succumb to an injury. CURSE YOU DAVE DOMBROWSKI! Sorry about that guys, I shouldn’t have doubted the magician of MLB trades. I would still wait until Prince officially confirms he’s going in for season ending surgery, but there’s a 91% chance he’s done for the year, and it’s probably closer to a 100%…but I’m just still hopeful for a miracle. Prince Fielder will probably end up being the most disappointing pick this season…
If Adam Lind and Mitch Moreland are on the waiver, well I think they could be some of the more useful replacements, and it’s not like Prince Fielder was hitting that well anyway! So losing him isn’t a big loss. Garret Jones seems to be has been hitting hot of late and Mike Olt seems to only hit HRs. The best bet could be to hold on to Jonathan Singleton and hope that the Astros call him up in early June. If the Angels decide to give CJ Cron a full-time job he could become interesting too, but hopefully your team can add a UTL player instead of a 1B to give your team a little extra flexibility.
I’m just going to skip to the point, what’s Prince Fielders values next year? Well the surgery that Prince Fielder will be getting is the same one that Peyton Manning had a couple of years ago and he did prettay prettaay prettaaaaaay well for himself. He also only needed one year to recover. He also plays and entirely different sport, but I think Prince will start the 2015 season no problem.
The Case For
The Rangers seem to be dropping like flies, this is not their year. The Rangers have been playing with a half deck this entire year, so I can forgive his lack of production so far. This herniated disk in Fielder’s neck could explain why he was playing so poorly this year, and he was even starting to turn things around, sporting a 9/1/9/0/.288/.384/ in 73 ABs. Which admittedly isn’t great, but it’s an improvement. His .113 ISO and 7.7 HR/FB% were both career lows, which seem like a fluke, and maybe could be explained on his injury. His K/BB ratio actually improved this year, so his batting hasn’t lost anything.
The Case Against
His OPS has declined for 4 straight years. His HR/FB ratio has decreased for over 4 years as well. Actually people were disappointed with his 2012 season as well, where he had a 82/25/106/1/.279 slash line. He had a 83/30/108/1/.313 in 2011, which is almost identical except for 5 more HRs and a 30 point increase on his batting average (which could be because his BABIP was 15 points higher the year before). Arlington has apparently done some construction to their ballpark where the jetstream in right field is gone. Arlington was the 19th best homepark for HR hitters last year and it’s currently the 22nd best HR field this year. Still, last year Rangers ballpark was tied for 5th most HRs given up to lefties, so it’s still a favorable park for left-handed batters. This year Prince Fielder his increased his GB% by 10%. This is largely influenced by the amount of defensive shifts they put up on Fielder. He’ll be 31 next year and maybe his weight, did anyone else know Prince is fat?!, has finally caught up to him. Ryan Howard never quite recovered from his foot injury, it’s not unheard of for a heavy hitter to not be the same.
I suspect Fielder to be ranked decently low next year, but maybe a 80/20/100/0/.285 is what we should be expecting from Fielder from now on. I suspect I’ll stubbornly draft Fielder next year, unless everyone decides to forgive him as much as I do, which I find highly unlikely. I think I’ll be one of a few to forgive Fielder next year, but then again, I won’t blame you for avoiding him either.