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Prince Lays Down Bunt, Beats Shift

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers rounds third base to score on an RBI single from Kevin Kouzmanoff (not pictured) against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the fourth inning at O.co Coliseum on April 21, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    It's always frustrating when one of your team's best hitters has to deal with a defensive shift that plays into his wheelhouse.

    Rangers fans witnessed it with Josh Hamilton, who was shifted against pretty often to play his pull. Now, they're seeing it with Prince Fielder, who always sees the shift — three infielders on the first-base side of the infield and the third baseman playing where the shortstop normally does.

    And it works. In Fielder's limited action last year, we routinely saw him line a shot right between the first and second baseman, only to see the second baseman playing in the shallow outfield grass right there to make the play.

    On Tuesday in a Cactus League win over the Angels, Fielder had a little fun with the shift and figured out a way to beat it, even if it is highly unlikely he'll make a habit out of it.

    Fielder, the hulking slugger, laid down a perfect bunt down the third-base line and could've jogged to first if he'd wanted. Of course, he sprinted and there wasn't even a throw to be made. Everyone got a good laugh.

    Someone like Fielder isn't going to bunt. That's not what he's paid to do. But a bunt single is the same as a regular single, or a walk. Don't be shocked if he does it at some point, even if he isn't going to make a habit out of it.