Prince Fielder struggled mightily for the Tigers in this year’s playoffs — he knows that. Now, as the newest member of the Texas Rangers, the big first baseman is ready for a fresh start.
“Everybody was on me a little bit about my performance, but rightfully so,” Fielder said Monday at his introductory press conference. “I sucked, but I didn’t have to be reminded of it. Hopefully, we can make some better memories here.”
One of baseball’s top run producers during the regular season, Fielder’s production shriveled up under the bright lights of October. He failed to drive in a single run in 11 playoff games for Detroit this season, going 9-for-40 with just one extra-base hit as his team was bounced by the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.
This was the continuation of an unfortunate trend for the 29-year-old. In 39 career postseason games, Fielder has hit just .194 (28-for-144) with five home runs, 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored. These stats are in stark contrast to his numbers in the regular season, where he has averaged 35 home runs and 107 RBIs through his first eight full seasons with a career batting average of .286.
With a new team comes a new jersey number, which Fielder hopes will bring him some fresh mojo. After wearing No. 28 in both Milwaukee and Detroit, he has decided to switch to No. 84 for his first season in the Lone Star State.
“It’s a new start I guess, and 84 is the year I was born. It’s just fresh,” Fielder said. “I think it works.”