Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pitchers Take Prince Fielder Up Ladder

Milwaukee rookie Prince Fielder is being warned by batting coach Butch Wynegar to stop chasing fastballs high out of the zone. So far, though, it seems Fielder can't hit them nor lay off them. When pitchers aren't taking Fielder up the ladder, they're pitching him inside to prevent him from extending his arms. Consequently Fielder is struggling raise his batting average above .250 and is swinging at air 40 percent of the time. With only one long ball, Fielder has a long way to go to reach the 30-homer plateau the team has projected for him. Scouting notes suggest, however, that Fielder has briefly struggled whenever he has advanced a level as he tries too hard to prove himself, only to recover as he becomes more comfortable. The team remains confident in Fielder's ability, but he has been dropped in the batting order from No. 5 to No. 7 behind Corey Koskie and Ricky Weeks.