Mar 6, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder (84) hits a double against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers played an exhibition game last night against the Quintana Roo Tigers. One player that seemed to be excited to return to Arlington was Prince Fielder. It has been expected that he is going to make a big impact on the team this year and fans didn’t have to wait long to see what he can do.
That ball is history! During his first at-bat as a Texas Rangers at Globe Park Life (formally Rangers Ballpark in Arlington), Prince Fielder hit a 2-run home run off a 3-0 pitch. The home run sailed deep to right center field about 424 feet. It was no surprise the Fielder was able to smash out out of the park, but people probably didn’t expect it to be his first at-bat. He only had 3 home runs during spring training.
Projected 2014 stats: According to the ZIPS projections by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski Prince Fielder should have about 30 home runs and 101 RBI with a batting line of .276/.387/.488. In my opinion I believe he’ll do better than the projected numbers. I speculate he’ll be able to take advantage of the short right field fence (325 feet). I think he’ll be to able hit around 38 home runs and 140 RBI for the 2014 season. Fielder only hit 25 home runs last year. But, he did have what he and others called a down year. I expect the change of scenery and a refocused Fielder to have one of his best years. Fielder now looks lighter, lost some weight doing an MMA type training, and looks happier.
Fan Graphs Hit Chart for Prince Fielder: A look at the hit chart from the past 2 years shows that Prince Fielder loves the right side of the park. To me, it appears while playing last year with the Tigers, he hit several flyballs and line drives close to the right field wall. The right field wall at Comerica Park is 330 feet compared to the 325 feet. I’m not sure how big of a difference that will make, but I speculate it will add a few more home runs, plus the jet stream that tends to left ball in Arlington. Either way things go, if he hits 30 or 38, he’s going to have an big impact in the lineup. I’m pretty excited to see what he’ll do this season for the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers Opening day is on Monday, March 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 PM CDT.