Fielder finally gets ahold of one

April, 16, 2014
4/16/14
12:45
AM ET
It took until the 14th game of the season for Prince Fielder to hit the kind of home run that Texas Rangers fans had been waiting for.
Prince Fielder
Cabrera
Fielder had not homered in his previous 30 games (including postseason) entering the day, but he had a 446-foot shot Tuesday in the Rangers' win over the Seattle Mariners.

It was the longest home run for Fielder since May 10, when he hit a 460-foot home run against Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians.

There had not been much positive to say about Fielder prior to this game. He entered the day ranked tied for last in the American League in Wins Above Replacement through the season’s first two weeks.

Historically, April has been a good month for Fielder. He hit .300 or better in April in each of the previous three seasons. But he's not headed that way to start 2014.

He hasn’t completely fixed things
Fielder had been in a funk since joining the Rangers. He entered this series with the Mariners with seven hits in 47 at bats. He’s now 3-for-7 in the past two games.

One of the issues attached to Fielder’s struggles were that he has been unable to get hits on pitches outside the strike zone.

In the previous three seasons, Fielder averaged 47 hits per season against pitches that were out of the zone. This season, he has managed only two such hits and the outs are piling up.

His two strikeouts swinging Tuesday gave him 17 outs against out-of-the-zone pitches this season. Typically, Fielder’s ratio of outs to hits on these pitches is 3-to-1. This season, it’s 17-to-2.

Better days to come
One potentially positive indicator for Fielder would be this: He’s 4-for-9 this season when he hits a ball that our hit classification system rates as “hard-hit.”

A typical major leaguer gets hits on 70 percent of his hard-hit balls. Fielder has been at about 65 percent the past couple of seasons, so 4-for-9 is a little below expectation.

Looking ahead
Fielder will face Felix Hernandez on Wednesday night in the day’s premier matchup (Yu Darvish will pitch for the Rangers).

Fielder is 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against Hernandez. But a lot of Rangers have had good days against Hernandez in the past.

Hernandez is 12-20 against the Rangers, by far his most losses versus any team (next-most: 13 versus Angels).

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