Prince Fielder hit his 300th career home run in the first inning of a 12-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Prince joined his father, Cecil, in the 300 home run club, becoming the second ever father-son duo to accomplish the feat. Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds was the other.
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Prince, who began his career nearly ten years ago, hit his first homer in 2005 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. In the following years, Fielder hit over 20 home runs in eight straight seasons before the injury in 2014 kept him out for much of the season. Fielder’s best years came from 2007 to 2012 when he managed over 30 home runs and averaged 38 home runs with the best season in 2007 when he hit 50.
After suffering a herniated disk in his neck that cut his first season with the Rangers short, Prince has been every bit the All-Star first baseman the Rangers thought they were getting when they traded Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for him in 2013.
Fielder leads the Rangers in just about every offensive category, posting a line of .351/.418/.538 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI with three months of the season gone. He is on pace for over 25 home runs and 100 RBI and will remain an important part of this team moving forward. With Adrian Beltre returning to the lineup and Josh Hamilton coming soon, Fielder will be receiving even more protection and should see even more strikes than he is already seeing. According to FanGraphs, pitchers throw 41.1% of pitches in the strike zone against him and when he swings at those pitches he makes contact 92.8% of the time.
In hitting his 300th home run, Fielder moves into a tie with Chuck Klein for 137th on the All-Time Home Run List. He is 12th among active players with Miguel Tejada just seven home runs ahead. He is 101 home runs behind teammate Beltre who hit home run number 401 earlier this season. The active leaders are Alex Rodriguez with 669 and Albert Pujols with 543. Taking a look at the active leaders, Fielder is younger than the rest of the players ahead of him and at just 31-years-old will have plenty of time to chase 400 home runs.
As a team, the Rangers have hit 77 home runs this season which is tied for 9th in the majors with the Seattle Mariners. The team leaders in the MLB are the Houston Astros with 110 and the New York Yankees with 102. In the month of June, the Rangers haven’t had as much power as they are 17th in the month with 22 home runs.