On Monday, the Texas Rangers introduced Prince Fielder as the franchise’s first baseman for years to come. Unfortunately, manager Ron Washington revealed something that made Fielder’s first press conference as a member of the Rangers rather disappointing.
Heading into the 2014 MLB season Fielder has started 1,031 games as a No. 4 hitter in the line-up. However, Washington informed the public on Monday that the Rangers’ newest acquisition will not bat fourth next year and instead be slotted in the third hole to start the 2014 campaign. This may sound like a trivial thing, but it’s really not. Fielder has played a mere four games as the No.3 hitter in the last three seasons combined!
On top of that, the left-handed power hitter has only batted in the three hole 154 times in his nine-year career — 154 is greater than 1,031. The Rangers made a huge commitment to Fielder by trading away Ian Kinsler and eating No. 84’s massive contract. Moreover, I really don’t understand why the Rangers would tinker with someone who is set to make $160 million over the next six years.
Of course, this means a major adjustment for Fielder, but it also means that Adrian Beltre is cemented at the No. 4 spot in Washington’s everyday line-up. Time will tell if Fielder can thrive in the No.3 spot, but I have my doubts that Washington’s experiment is going to end well.