For all the well-deserved praise and admiration being heaped on fellow WPW-featured athlete Miguel Cabrera as he flirts with the first Triple Crown season since we put a Man on the Moon, I figured the guy in the on-deck circle deserves a few peanuts for his work, too. I guess when you see 30/100 year after year, Prince Fielder’s .310/28/105 split just becomes par for the course. But what we don’t see with that split, aside from the fact that he’s beating his career batting average by 28 points, is that Fielder has actually gotten better this year.
Despite the most ferocious hack since Juan Uribe’s last three-pitch strikeout, Fielder has shaped himself into a terrific contact hitter over his career and especially lately. Not to get too sabermetricious with you, but Fielder has dramatically improved his K rate in the last two seasons, with his 2012 percentage coming in at 12.4%, better than a 6% improvement over his career percentage prior to this year (18.5%). That’s good enough for top-25 in the Majors, just under one of the best contact hitters of all time, Derek Jeter. As a lefty, there are very few guys out there with a more complete swing than Prince.
Oh, and he’s got a little pop, too.
Prince swings a Tucci Lumber Co bat. His model is the TL-271,
but we don’t know yet whether it’s maple or ash. Tucci was nice enough to tweet us back, and we found out Prince’s lumber is a maple 34in/31oz.
In the photo above, you can also see one of Prince’s two styles of batting gloves, which are the old Nike Show Elite style, no longer available anywhere online. Prince has got these in black with a white swoosh.
For some games (home/away doesn’t seem to be the deciding factor), Prince wears the Nike Diamond Elite Pro II batting gloves, similar to those you see in the feature, though they do look slightly different (the straps are different colors, as seen below).
These gloves can be found online, though the colors are limited as of yet. I would guess these will be available in several colors for the 2013 season, but for now it looks like it’s just black/white on Eastbay.
Prince’s cleats are also new for Nike, the Air MVP Pro that we also saw Timmy Lincecum sporting. These are available in the black/white colorway, but not the Tiger style he also wears occasionally. They are sharp as anything out there and available in several colors.
Here’s Prince’s exclusive Air MVP Pro cleats:
Here are the links:
Tucci Bats (Prince’s model is the PSLTL271)
Nike Diamond Elite Pro II Batting Gloves (at Eastbay)