It is hard to believe that the 2014 MLB season will be Prince Fielder‘s 10th. The Texas Rangers‘ husky first baseman is in line to reach several career milestones even if he has an average season by his standards. While not really in the discussion for one of the greatest of all time, Fielder is certainly making a name for himself.
Durability is one of the things that I admire most in a professional athlete. Staying away from the injury bug and being a mainstay in the manager’s lineup card everyday is as important to a fan as it should be to a player. Fielder has played in 1322 games so far in his career. He has missed only 13 games since his first full season in 2006.
2014 should be no exception, and if he plays every game again like he has in the past three seasons, it will put him a handful of games ahead of his father Cecil Fielder on the all-time list.
Fielder has 1352 career hits. On average, he gets 166 hits a season. Adding that to his total would give him 1518 and place him tied for 580th on the all-time list. Some may say that being ranked at 580th on an all-time list is nothing. When it ties you with Jackie Robinson, it may be looked at differently. Fielder and Robinson would share that spot on the all-time hits list in the same career time span of 10 seasons.
After four straight seasons of declining home run numbers, Fielder will enjoy his new digs in Arlington and should be back on the upswing. As it is right now, Fielder has belted 285 round-trippers. If he gets his average season projection, which is 35, Fielder would have 320 for his career and would be tied for 112th all-time. Why is that significant? That number would give him one more than Big Daddy in three fewer seasons.
I am sure that isn’t his motivation, but it would be something to get excited about. A less exciting milestone that Fielder could potentially hit this season is 1100 strikeouts, which would be good 205th all-time.
With Prince inching up most statistical categories, where is he going to end up when it is all said and done? Say he plays five more years after this season, which would put him at 15. Would his numbers be worthy of the Hall of Fame conversation? Let’s just take it one season at a time and see how he can adjust in a very competitive American League West.