Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers watches as he grounds into a double play in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Prince Fielder is 5-for-12 over the course of his career against the Los Angeles Angels' Friday night starter Hector Santiago. So perhaps if there was ever a night to end a slump, this could be it.
The Texas Rangers' slugging (at least that's the rumor) first baseman is in his first year in Texas after a November trade brought him from the Detroit Tigers for Ian Kinsler, and so far, the results haven't been good for the hefty lefty.
In his first month as a Ranger, Fielder hit .206 with two homers and nine RBIs. His OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) was a light .644 with the help of 17 walks, including a league-leading nine intentional walks.
In other words, Fielder's first month as a Rangers first baseman was no better than anything they would've gotten from the guy he displaced at first base, Mitch Moreland. Oh, and Moreland is a better defensive first baseman.
Fielder's hitting a ton of ground balls, a trend that has been growing for him since midway through last season, and has been eaten alive by a defensive shift to the right side of the infield. His sharp grounders that would go as singles in a normal aligments are all 4-3 putouts. And regardless, Fielder wasn't brought in to hit singles.
So far this year, he seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two homers). It's been bad.
It's not time for an all-out panic on Prince. The guy has struggled and bounced back before, but a month is more than just a small sample. Fielder insists he'll pick it up.
"If I get a hit, it feels good," he told reporters on Wednesday. "I feel good, and all I can control is how I feel. I’d like to have 20 homers by now, but I don’t. It will definitely come around. I have no choice but to stay patient. I feel good. I’m going to keep playing hard and see what happens. That’s all I can do."
If he doesn't pick it up, it's going to be a bad deal for the Rangers and general manager Jon Daniels, who took on Fielder's mammoth contract that runs through 2020 with a little financial help from the Tigers.