Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Prince Fielder: Like Father, Like Son
"The apple," so the old saying goes, "falls not far from the tree." With Lyle Overbay having been thrown overboard in Milwaukee, the Brewers' 1B job falls to Prince Fielder, son of former big-league slugger Cecil Fielder. So far, a comparison of the two puts the younger on a trajectory that potentially would make him a bigger star than his father. Prince was a first round pick in '02, compared to his father being taken in the fourth round in '82. Prince made it to the big leagues by age 21, following up his .288 average and 27 HRs in 374 ABs at AAA Memphis last year with 59 ABs with the Brewers in which he hit .289 with 2 HRs. His father couldn't crack the "bigs" until he was 22, and batted .311 with 4 HRs in only 74 ABs for Toronto in '85. Incredibly, the Blue Jays seemed to have little appreciation for Cecil, failing to play him full time for four years and allowing him to defect to Japan, where he waited for Sparky Anderson and the Detroit Tigers to see him for who he was and give him his first full-time gig in 1990. Cecil batted .277 with 44 HRs in 573 ABs for Sparky that year, the first of many in which he was among the most feared hitters in baseball.