January 24th 2012 set the date for one of the richest contracts the Detroit Tigers have given out in their history as an organization. 9 years 214 million dollars were handed out and signed for by Prince Fielder. Fielder would become the power lock behind Miguel Cabrera. This was the Tigers answer to losing Victor Martinez to an ACL tear back in early January.
Fielder was the second most powerful bat to hit free agency last winter behind Albert Pujols. When looking closer at the numbers in post season play is Fielder really the answer to a power bat that should back up someone of Miguel Cabrera’s status?
The question raised sounds so obvious it’s stupid to even think about, but when looking at the numbers up close one might think differently.
Since making his major league debut Fielder has been in the playoffs for 3 different series, not including the series he is in the middle of with the Detroit Tigers. In those 3 series (’08 vs. Phillies, ’11 vs. Diamondbacks, and ’11 Cardinals) Fielder batting a sub 200 average (.179) with 14 K’s. Fielder did hit 4 home runs in those three series and walked a total of 8 times for an on base percentage of .299.
Fielder prior to this season batted behind Ryan Braun in the same role he is now batting behind Miguel Cabrera, but how did Fielder do when Braun reached base ahead of him in the lineup? During his time as a brewer Fielder batted .210 when Braun reached ahead of him in the playoffs.
Fielder was 4 for 19 with Braun on base ahead of him. Out of those 4 hits Fielder did however have 2 homeruns and 5 RBI’s. Fielder also struck out 5 times and grounded in 3 double plays.
Moving into this season the Tigers opened up the postseason against the Oakland Athletics who may not want to shy away from putting Cabrera on everytime. Fielder through two games so far is 1-4 with a K when Cabrera reaches base ahead of him. Putting all numbers together Fielder is 5 for 24 (.208) when his teammate batting in the 3 hole reaches base ahead of him.
If I were the Oakland Athletics I wouldn’t be to worried to allow Cabrera his base more times than not.