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Prince Semien Fielder, son of former Major Leaguer Cecil Fielder, was born on May 9, 1984 in Ontario, California and is the starting first basemen for the Milwaukee Brewers. Fielder, who inherited his father stature, standing at six feet and 260 pounds, is a huge fan favorite in Milwaukee, where he has become a team leader at the young age of 23.
Because of his father, Fielder had been around the majors for years. He even was rumored to have hit a home run into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium during Tigers' batting practice when was just 12 years old, but has recently admitted that it was just into the lower deck.
Fielder was once a spokesperson along with his father for McDonald's and appeared on MTV's Rock N Jock Sports before ever setting foot on a major or minor league field.
Prince is no longer on speaking terms with his father for personal reasons that he rarely discusses publicly. Prince is a father himself. He has two sons, Jaden, 2, and Haven, 1, with his wife Chanel. Teammate and best friend, Rickie Weeks, was his best man at his wedding.
Prince graduated from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Fla. in 2002. In the 2002 book Moneyball, Prince is famously not chosen by the Oakland Athletics', who held the 16th pick in the draft, because General Manager Billy Beane claimed he was too fat to play in the big leagues.
Regardless, Fielder was not around that long, as he was taken by the Brewers with the seventh pick, whereupon he entered the Brewers' farm system. He spent just 41 games in Rookie ball, hitting .390 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and a 1.209 OPS, before being promoted to Class A Beloit. In 2003, Fielder hit .313 in Class A with 27 homers and 112 RBIs to earn himself a promotion to Double-A Huntsville for the 2004 season.
Despite a drop in much of his statistics in 2004, Prince was promoted to Triple-A Nashville, where he would spend just two months of the season before being called up to Milwaukee to be the Brewers' designated hitter during Interleague play.
He made his major league debut on June 13, 2005 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and went 0-for-4. On June 25, he and Weeks each hit their first major league home runs in the same game against the Minnesota Twins. Fielder's was a pinch hit three-run homer that eventually won the game.
Following Interleague play, he was sent down to the minors until later in the season.
With Fielder seemingly ready to become the everyday first basemen, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt Lyle Overbay to Toronto for outfielder Gabe Gross and pitchers Dave Bush and Zach Jackson in a trade that opened up the first base position for Prince.
He struggled, however, right out of the gates, failing to get a hit in his first 11 at bats while striking out seven of those times. In his 12th at bat, Fielder broke through and delivered an RBI hit that again eventually won the game and secured an opening series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fielder would finish with 28 home runs to lead all National League rookies and shatter the Brewers' previous record of home runs by a rookie (17), which was held by Greg Vaughn.
Fielder eclipsed his home run total of 2006 before the All-Star Break as he hit 29 of them before the Midsummer Classic and was the first Brewer since Paul Molitor in 1987 to be voted into the All-Star Game as a starter and the first to start since Jeromy Burnitz started the 1999 All-Star Game due to an injury by one of the scheduled starters.
On September 15, Prince broke the Brewers franchise record with his 46th home run of the season, and on September 25, with two homers against the St. Louis Cardinals, Prince became the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs in a single season.
Fielder is like many other slugging first basemen. He will hit for above average to extraordinary power and middle of the road average, has below average speed, and average defense. He most likely will never win a gold glove, but a few silver sluggers may be on his resume as he grows older.
Despite his high RBI numbers, Fielder has not batted well in 2007 in "clutch" situations. He is batting just .236 with runners in scoring position and only .185 when there are two outs and runners in scoring position.
- Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st round (7th pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 4, 2002 - signed June 17, 2002).