Prince Fielder isn’t having a poor season for the Detroit Tigers. But neither is he having a great one. It’s more like an average season, in some respects. But that’s because so much is expected out of Fielder. Fielder is going to the MLB All-Star game, basically on reputation as he is hitting .261, but there’s no reason he should not be batting over the .300 mark right now. He is hitting for power with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs. He’s well below the numbers of teammate Miguel Cabrera but perhaps that’s not a fair comparison. On the other hand, Fielder is expected to deliver as much as Cabrera has so he has to start swinging a much more consistent bat.
The Tigers were happy to see Fielder on Wednesday with three hits, three RBIs, a home and two runs scored. They’d like to see that more often. In Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Fielder had one hit but his bat basically didn’t produce much.
It’s not a typical Fielder season. He’s still doing a critical part of his job in having pitchers throw to Cabrera and not pitch around him. Fielder is still a batter who is to be feared, that’s for sure. But if his batting average slips below .250, it will be time to do something, and in a major hurry. If he can hit his true average for the second half of the season, the Tigers will be a very dangerous team.
The Tigers are a dangerous team of sorts right now. But with Fielder’s help, they could be far more dangerous.