I have watched/followed Prince at every stop in his minor and major league career. The thing that has always impressed me most is his adjustment to the level of competition. He's always been young for the level he's been at (19 at AA, 20 at AAA, and then starting his big league career at age 21 last year), and within a month or two, just started killing the ball. He jumps to the big leagues, and in limited ABs, he hits .288 and 2 game-winning blasts as a pinch hitter (one particular game gave any Brewers fan goose-bumps -- both Prince and Rickie hit their first big league homers in the same game, Prince's being the game-winner). He is patient at the plate, and just flat-out knows how to hit. I think 25-30 is very realistic. I mean, even during his "mediocre" showing last year (as Zito put it) he hit 2 HR in 59 AB. Extrapolate that out to 575 AB or so (starters numbers), and you already have 20 HR, and to me, that's a minimum.
The key is that I think last year was key for him. He's not a completely untested commodity, he got to play last year and face big league pitching. If he adjusts as quickly as he did every other level, look out.
Zito is God wrote:Because he hasn't played a full pro season yet.
So? There are guys who come up and rake right away.
Zito is God wrote:he was mediocre in the bigs during the short chances he did ecieve last year
Well, in addition to screaming "SAMPLE SIZE", I might point out that he hit .288 with a .458 slugging percentage and .764 OPS, which is pretty damn good for a 21 year old facing major league pitching for the first time. He had about 1 HR every 30 PAs, which projects to 20 HRs for every 600 PAs, even assuming no improvement, which is a pretty unrealistic assumptions.
Zito is God wrote:and AAA pitching and MLB pitching has a fine line between them. I just don't see anything better then: .272, 79 R, 17 HRs, 82 RBIs THIS year. Future looks fantastic, but 2006 will likely be an average year.
Yeah, but there are pretty darn accurate models now to translate minor league into major league equivalents. I'll be very surprised if Fielder does not hit at least 25 HRs. The average around .270 sounds about right.
giants8307 wrote:If ryan howard had had 600 AB's last year, and followed his current numbers, he had have hit 42 homers and had 121 RBI. Rookies can hit right away in the bigs.
Well that wouldn't hold true because Howard can't hit lefties and the league will likely adjust to him. Fielder is a MUCH better hitter than Howard, he'll like be a .300+ type hitter while Howard is more likely to just be a power guy.
As for Fielders projection, he fits into the griffey type category of players. Guys who have been around the big leagues all of their lives, when he was 13 years old he was hitting moonshot HR's in batting practice in Detroit. At every level he's adjusted and performed at an all star level. He's just one of those guys you aren't worried about. I'd be much more worried about guys like Hermida than about Prince performing.
I honestly would not be surprised to see him hit 30 HR's this year, I'm not going to draft him based on those numbers but it would not surprise me one bit.
Anyone who thinks they can accurately predict this is either a fool or a liar. He could hit 15...he could hit 30+. No way to know and a betterhanldle on it will be in place come MAy 15th. However, he did not get enough ABs in order for some extrpolation of Hrs to be meaningful.
We saw this type of bull last year with Morneau. He hit 20 in half a season and then he bacame everyone's next great superstar that HAD to be kept over established palyers. I had people here telling me to keep Morneau over Kent last season (advice I disregard). We are seeing it this year with Weeks, Peralta and to a lesser extent Fielder. The history books are filled with rookies who flopped.
Fielder should be drafted as a mid to late teen round 1b with some decent pop potential. If he pans out great...if not, you do not waste a very high pick on him. I have him slotted as an excellent corner pick this year. Just don't be starting him at 1b in mixed leagues.
There is absolutely no way you'll get fielder in the mid to late teens, while I'm not suggesting drafting him in round 5 or anything, he's going to go as a speculative pick around round 11-13 most likely.