Adrian Beltre has high expectations for Prince Fielder in 2014.
Beltre, who has anchored the Texas Rangers’ lineup for the last three years, told reporters at the team’s awards gathering Friday that he thinks Fielder will win the American League MVP this season. Fielder was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler this offseason and likely will hit third in the Rangers’ lineup.
“He’s going to get the MVP,” Beltre said. “It’s his time to win it. My job is to protect him so that he gets there.”
Fielder has never won an MVP award, but he finished third in the National League MVP race in 2007 and 2011 while with the Milwaukee Brewers. There’s certainly a chance that Fielder could threaten for the honor in 2014, as the first baseman will have plenty of lineup protection and the luxury of playing in a hitter-friendly environment in Texas.
Fielder hit .279 with 25 homers and 106 RBIs with the Tigers in 2013. The 29-year-old has dropped weight this offseason in the hopes of morphing back into one of baseball’s most feared sluggers.
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