Friday, March 28, 2014
Over/under: Prince Fielder's home runs
By David Schoenfield
We'll do a couple more of these before running the final results on Sunday.
Prince Fielder once hit 50 home runs for the Brewers when he was 23 years old in 2007. He hit 46 in 2009. The past three seasons, however, his home runs have gone from 38 to 30 (his first year with the Tigers) to 25. He moves to the Rangers this year and many believe he just had a bad season in 2013, dealing with a divorce. Some point to numbers that show he hasn't been hitting fastballs like he used to, perhaps a sign that his bat speed is diminishing.
Everyone agrees that moving to Texas, a better park for home runs, will help in the power department. Still, Fielder didn't hit any better on the road last year -- he hit 13 home runs at home and slugged .467 and hit 12 home runs with a .448 slugging percentage on the road. In 2012, he hit 18 home runs at Comerica Park, 12 on the road. It's hard to argue that Comerica was costing him home runs, so I have doubts he's suddenly going to turn back into 38- or 40-homer guy like I've heard some people say. Especially when considering he'll now have to play more games in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim, all tougher home run parks.
The projection systems do see the likelihood of more home runs. ZiPS has him at 30, Steamer at 29. Let's put the over/under at 30.5.