Friday, December 16, 2011

A Prince in Baltimore?

So far this off-season has produced some shocking results: First-baseman Albert Pujols signing a 10-year deal worth $254 million with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as well as starting pitcher C.J. Wilson signing a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels.

Other countless free agents have signed as well, ranging from shortstop Jose Reyes to closer Joe Nathan.

However, there is still one prized player left: First-baseman Prince Fielder (pictured above)

Fielder is only 27-years-old and is coming off a year where he hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 runs batted in. He also finished 3rd in the NL MVP race.

What isn’t there to like about Prince? 

Well there are many arguments to giving him a long-term deal worth at least $150 million.

Since Fielder started in the league he has never had a defensive Wins above replacement (dWAR) rating higher than -0.3.

Another issue with Fielder is his weight. He is listed at 275 lbs. Many scouts believe he will have to play for an American League club because they think he will eventually have to be a full-time designated hitter.

Despite these beliefs, I believe Prince Fielder would be a great addition to the Orioles.

He is definitely a very-large guy, however I think if we play him at first base day-in and day-out it will prolong his value.

When it comes to defense, I know Fielder isn’t a great defender but he will be more than able to make up for it with his offensive value.

Since 2007, Fielder has hit over 30 home runs every year and he had more than 100 runs batted in, except for 2010, when he finished with 83. 83 runs batted in would have still been a team-high for the Orioles. Ty Wigginton finished with a team-high 76 runs batted in.

This is a crude estimation, simply used to illustrate Fielder's power. - Jeff

This picture above shows all of the home runs that Prince Fielder would've hit out of Camden Yards since 2008. It shows 3 home runs would have been "warehouse worthy". Thanks to Jeff for creating this!

Fielder has also increased his plate-discipline greatly. In 2010, he finished with 138 strikeouts and 114 bases on balls. In 2011, he finished with 106 strikeouts and 107 bases on balls. He also lead baseball with 32 intentional walks in 2011.

As mentioned earlier, Fielder is only 27.  Statistics have shown that most players are in their “prime” from ages 26-32.  Signing Fielder now would give us at least five years of a top- player in his prime.

Unlike Pujols, if the Orioles were to give Fielder a long-term contract the longest it would be is 10 years, at which Fielder would be 38, since his birthday is in May.

However, I do not expect Fielder to get a ten-year-deal in this market. I expect a deal ranging from 6 to 8 years.

Orioles fans can just imagine what it would be like to have Fielder in our line-up. He would give the Orioles a feared clean-up hitter, as well our best first-baseman since Rafael Palmeiro.

Note - This post was written by Chad, posted by Jeff due to technical difficulties.

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