Prince Fielder- Texas Rangers, 2014-2017
One of the saddest moments in Texas Rangers history was watching Prince Fielder’s retirement announcement, as tears rolled down the big first baseman’s face, hanging his cleats up after a devastating neck injury that led to two spinal-fusion surgeries.
Before being traded to Texas in 2013, Prince Fielder never saw time on the disabled list. From 2009 to 2013, Fielder missed only one game.
Early in his career, Prince was one of the most feared power bats in the National League, but wasn’t afraid to slap the ball the other way or take his walks.
During his injury-ridden time in Texas, Prince hit a respectable .269/.350/.410/.760, clubbing 34 homeruns, 158 RBIs and drawing 121 walks. He only played in 42 games in 2014, 89 games in 2016, but won the American League Comeback Player of the Year for his 2015 performance. He hit .305, 23 homers, 98 RBIs and had an OPS+ of 126 in 2015.
Over his career, Fielder hit .283/.382/.506/.887 and had an OPS+ of 134. He finished his career with 319 homeruns, 1,028 driven in and 1,645 hits.
The 6x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 2x Home Run Derby champ and All-Star MVP had his career cut short, but has a chance to gain the votes needed to stay on the ballot for one more year. Does Prince eventually get into the Hall of Fame? I doubt it, but it would be great to see him garner enough interest to stay alive past his first year.