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Rory Freedman

Prince Fielder

Prince Semien Fielder (born May 9, 1984, in Ontario, California) is a Major League Baseball player who plays first base for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected by the Brewers in the first round of the 2002 amateur draft out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida. He is the son of former Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers First Baseman Cecil Fielder. Prince and Cecil are the only father-son combination in MLB history to each reach the exclusive 50 home run plateau. Fielder also holds the Brewers' team record for home runs in a season, as well as the MLB record for youngest player to reach the 50 home run mark.

Child of The Big Leagues

Prince, like many sons of prominent Major Leaguers, was a fixture around his father's team's clubhouses growing up. In addition he starred alongside his father in a McDonald's commercial and appeared with him on MTV's Rock 'n Jock.

When his father played for Detroit, Prince would sometimes come along for batting practice. Contrary to popular belief, Fielder did not hit a home run into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium at the age of 12, but he did hit a home run over the fence as a pre-teen. Fielder set the story straight in a 2007 interview with Fox Sports during a road trip to Detroit.

Since his father took a portion of Prince's signing bonus for negotiating his first contract and gambled it away, the two have not been on full speaking terms.

High School career

Fielder spent his first three years of high school playing at Florida Air Academy. He then transferred to Eau Gallie High School to play baseball there his senior year (2002). Eau Gallie High School is also the alma mater of Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield He hit .524 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, 41 RBI and 47 runs in his senior year. He was named by the Florida Today as the All-Space Coast Player of the Year in 2002.
In 2002, Fielder hit a home run that has since been exaggerated at over 550-580 feet. The actual home run was hit 430 feet off Rockledge High school pitcher Aaron Cook.

Professional career

Fielder began the 2005 season with the minor league Nashville Sounds, and later served as a designated hitter for the Brewers during interleague play. Fielder married his wife Chanel during the Triple-A All-Star Break. He earned his first call-up to the Majors on June 13, 2005, but he was sent back down to the Sounds after the end of interleague play, since Lyle Overbay was already the regular first baseman for the team. Fielder was again called up to the Majors on August 17, 2005, and went on to finish the season with the Brewers, where he was used as a pinch-hitter. He was the 6th-youngest player in the league.

On the 15th of June that year he collected his first major league hit, a double, off Hideo Nomo, and drove in his first big league run with his second hit of the night at Tampa Bay.

2006

After Lyle Overbay was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, Fielder became the Brewers' starting first baseman in 2006 and was an early favorite for National League Rookie of the Year.

Prince did not get off to a great start in the 2006 regular season, going 0-9 with 7 strikeouts. In his 12th at-bat Fielder finally made a big splash, delivering a game-winning hit that drove home Geoff Jenkins for the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The hit not only won the game for the Brewers, but secured an opening series sweep. Even with his early season struggles, Prince was named the National League's Rookie of the Month for April, and hit consistently since. On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Fielder was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. With his 18th home run of the year, Fielder broke the Brewers' rookie home run record previously held by Greg Vaughn.

He led all major league rookies with 28 homers in the 2006 season. On defense, he had the lowest zone rating among NL first basemen, .804.

2007

Fielder had a strong first half in 2007, earning a start at first base in the 2007 All-Star game over the previous two MVP winners, Ryan Howard (2006) and Albert Pujols (2005).

On September 15, 2007, Fielder broke the Brewers franchise record for home runs in a season, hitting his 46th in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. The record was previously jointly held by Richie Sexson (twice) and Gorman Thomas.

On September 25th, Fielder became the youngest player ever to reach 50 home runs in a season, joining his estranged father in the exclusive club. Fielder has stated that he hopes to surpass his father's total of 51 home runs in a season (1990) as a way of exorcising the demons that have come with being the son of a prominent major leaguer. "A lot of people said that's the only reason I got drafted... I don't mind people comparing me to him but I'm a completely different player. One day I want people to mention my name and not have to mention his," Fielder has said. Earlier in the season, Cecil Fielder had told a magazine that it was his famous name that led to his son being such a highly touted prospect. The younger Fielder also saw his contention in the 2007 NL MVP race as a way of proving his father wrong, but gets little else from the rift but motivation saying, "You've got to look at who's saying it. Let's be honest. He's not really the brightest guy."

Fielder ranked first in the National League in home runs (50) in his MVP-caliber 2007 season, was 2nd in slugging percentage to teammate Ryan Braun (.618), 2nd in at bats per home run (11.5) and OPS (1.013), 3rd in RBIs (119) and extra base hits (87), 4th in total bases (354) and hit by pitch (14), 5th in intentional walks (21) and sacrifice flies (8), 7th in runs (109) and times on base (269), and 9th in walks (90).

In 2007 he led all major league first basemen in errors, with 14, and was last among eligible major league first basemen in range factor (8.49).

Fielder earned the Milwaukee Brewers Team MVP award, the Player's Choice NL Outstanding Player award, 2007 Silver Slugger award, and was voted the National League's Hank Aaron Award winner.

2008

Unable to come up with an agreement for a long-term contract with the Brewers, Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras, signed a one year, $670,000 deal with the Brewers. Fielder was quoted saying, "I'm not happy about it at all," showing his disappointment in not being able to reach an agreement with the club.

On June 19, Fielder hit the second inside-the-park home run of his career, against the Toronto Blue Jays.

On Aug. 4, Fielder and teammate Manny Parra got into a scuffle in the dugout during a game against the Cincinnati Reds in which Parra was the starting pitcher. They were having a brief conversation, which led to Parra throwing his jacket down and Fielder shoving him. Fielder had to be restrained by teammates Ray Durham, Dave Bush, J. J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, and pitching coach Mike Maddux. ESPN Television reported that night that the dispute was over Parra heading back to the clubhouse after being pulled from the game instead of staying in the dugout to watch the Brewers bat in the next inning. Baseball Tonight also reports the exchange was started when Parra told Fielder to "get off his fat ass and play defense." Manager Ned Yost said reporters asking questions about the incident was as rude as "going over to the neighbors' house after they've been fighting and asking about it."

On Sept. 23, Fielder hit his 2nd walk off home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates, helping the Brewers keep pace with the New York Mets in the NL Wild Card race.

Fielder was named the National League Player of the Week for the week of September 15-21 after he batted .462, with 27 total bases, six doubles, 11 RBI, .533 on-base percentage, and a 1.038 slugging percentage.

Fielder ended the 2008 regular season with a .276 batting average, 34 home runs, 102 RBI, 86 runs and 84 walks. The Brewers finished 90-72, earning the NL Wild Card and making the playoffs for the first time since 1982. They faced the Philadelphia Phillies and were eliminated in 4 games.

Vegetarianism

Prior to the beginning of the 2008 season Fielder became a vegetarian by removing meat and fish from his diet. The change came about after reading Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin's diet book Skinny Bitch. The book, given to him by his wife Chanel, advocates a pure vegan lifestyle while detailing the viciousness of factory farming and animal cruelty.

Statistics

Year Age Team Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+ TB SH SF IBB HBP GDP
2005 21 Milwaukee NL

39 59 2 17 4 0 2 10 0 0 2 17 .288 .306 .458 .764 27 0 1 0 0 0
2006 22 Milwaukee NL

157 569 82 154 35 1 28 81 7 2 59 125 .271 .347 .483 .830 275 0 8 5 12 18
2007 23 Milwaukee NL

158 573 109 165 35 2 50 119 2 2 90 121 .288 .395 .618 1.013 354 0 4 21 14 9
2008 24 Milwaukee NL

159 588 86 162 30 2 34 102 3 2 84 134 .276 .372 .507 .879 298 0 10 19 12 12
Totals:

513 1,789 279 498 104 5 114 312 12 6 235 397 .278 .370 .533 .903 954 0 23 45 38 39

See also

References

External links

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