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October 4, 2013

Advance Scouting Series

Prince Fielder

by Mark Anderson

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Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Mark Anderson, Jr.

Player Name: Prince Fielder

Context: 10 Games; 9/19/13 to 9/29/13

PA

AB

H

1st P

K

BB

TB

Hard

AVE

OBP

SLG

OPS

TOTALS

39

34

9

12

3

4

15

12

.265

.359

.441

.800

Sample vs. Season:

Comparable overall numbers (AVG, OBP, SLG) to full-season output; walk rate remained consistent in sample; strikeout rate cut in half during observed sample; appeared tired overall with contact-focused approach.

SCOUTING BREAKDOWN

Physical/Health:

Round body; shorter than typical 1B; exceptionally strong but masked by hulking physique that looks largely out of shape and like a beer league softball player; no known injuries; looks worn down; has played 162 games in four of last five seasons and workload may be taking a toll.

Hit Tool

Simple setup and trigger; consistent hand position; path to the zone is short, lightning fast and extremely consistent; excellent bat speed; shows ability to pull the hands in and snap the bat through the zone; never gets cheated with swing; solid pitch recognition and willingness to wait for pitchers to make a mistake, though is willing to swing early if he likes it; minimal situational adjustment to swing but still has contact ability in all counts; has some miss in the swing; can use the opposite field and will go that way when pitched away; occasional spurts as plus or better hitter; consistently above-average hitter that is dangerous in all situations against all types of pitchers. -- Grade: 5+

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Sees the ball surprisingly well from LHP; still works at-bats well against same-side pitching; approach remains patient but becomes more contact oriented; will get over-eager late in at-bats and try to do too much; will swing through breaking balls; dangerous hitter but can be pitched to.

Patient and powerful against RHP; makes more contact; displays more confidence in willingness to lay off borderline secondary pitches; gets more aggressive with swing when ahead in count and looks to punish the ball; classic power hitter that stings the ball against RHP.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/19/13

First inning vs. Paxton (LHP); FB heavy at-bat; mixed two CB and one CH among ten pitches; everything was worked away; hitter rolled over several yielding groundballs foul; FC ground out to 2B on CH; demonstrated one of few ways to exploit hitter by consistently working away as same-side arm.

9/21/13

First and seventh inning vs. Sale (LHP); Steady diet of SL; frequently started in the zone and finishing out of the zone low or away; results of six SL in two AB – 3 swinging strikes; 1 called strike, 1 ball, 1 ball in play (out); hitter can struggle with quality breaking stuff from LHP.

9/24/13

Second inning vs. Diamond (LHP); lined 4-seam FB up and away at 90 mph to LF for single; demonstrates plate coverage of hitter with ability to hit balls hard in all parts of the zone.

Power

Power output down in 2013; still possesses near-elite raw power; most of power comes to pull side but has bat speed/strength to drive the ball out to the opposite field; even slightly mis-hit balls can get out of the park; swing will approach uppercut at times when player sells out for power; typical swing is violent but results in hard line drive contact from gap to gap; rarely sells out for power and does not need to; traditional power hitter; though output may be slightly reduced, raw power is still blatant. – Grade: 7

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Maintains aggressive swing and electric bat speed but willingness to make contact and use the whole field appears elevated; stays in well and still drives the ball consistently; power threat is decreased against same-side arms but still evident.

Frequently unloads on the ball versus RHP; very aggressive swings are routine; approach is a touch more patient, allowing for more aggression as favorable accounts may be more frequent; serious power threat every time he steps in the box against RHP.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/20/13

First inning vs. Axelrod (RHP); runners on second and third; one out; aggressive swings with appearance of selling out for power; well-sequenced (CB-CH-FB-CB) at-bat; success against hitter despite middling raw stuff because of location away and low, and sequence; evidence that hitter can be susceptible to situations where he wants to ramp up for power and can be successfully pitched around with good sequence and location.

Speed/ Baserunning

No threat to run; bottom-of-the-scale runner; shows a little better once underway; moves base-to-base well but is stretched when asked to take extra bases, even on gap shots by teammates; poor and often unpredictable sliding technique that can put other players at risk; rarely pinch run for late in games; speed is not part of his game; can almost ignore hitter once on base.

Conclusions and Means of Attack

Versus LHP: Approach becomes contact oriented with less uppercut and more focus on using opposite field; can be pitched with quality breaking balls low and away; after setting up with breaking balls, FB in and just off plate can induce weak contact; elevated FB from same-side arm can get swing and miss at times; work consistently away for greatest potential of success.

Versus RHP: Sequence is important; likes to try to control pace of at-bats against RHP; dictating pace can throw him off a bit; working away can lead to some success; sees elevated FB from RHP better than LHP and can drive it; will lose vertical breaking ball on back foot and swing over top of it; should not face RHP late in games as potential for hard contact/power is too great.

Overall: Typically patient approach becomes scattered late in games; tends to get more aggressive in at-bats as games progress and will swing earlier in counts; staying away from FB between thigh and letters is important; can square velocity from knees to shoulders; working the ladder is typically unsuccessful as hitter adjusts quickly; must work side-to-side and provide different pitch looks for success; keep contact to opposite field and minimize damage to singles.

Matchup Stats at a Glance

First Pitch Swing

12/39; 30.8 percent

Bunt Threat (Sac, Push, Drag)

Did not show bunt.

Defensive Positioning

Play to pull; rarely goes down 3B line in the infield; slide 3B to standard SS positioning; move SS up the middle or slightly past 2B; 2B play deep and in the hole; 1B toward the line.

Outfield

Straight up; normal depth.

Splits

vs. LHP

.292/.360/.459

vs. RHP

.271/.364/.455

Mark Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mark's other articles. You can contact Mark by clicking here

Related Content:  Scouting,  Detroit Tigers,  Advance Series

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