While Ryan Braun might get all the hype and all the glory, Prince Fielder is putting his stamp on the Milwaukee Brewers this season. This is Prince’s team.
While his numbers won’t really jump off the page, he’s done it all without really getting hot yet. And his numbers are hardly pedestrian. His OPS is at .988, to go along with 15 home runs, a .290 average and 56 RBI. He sits behind only Albert Pujols (57) and Raul Ibanez (59) in the NL RBI leaders. He’s on pace for 39 homers and 144 RBI on the season. Once again, he hasn’t really gotten hot yet–you’ll know when it happens. It happened for most of 2007 and he wound up with 50 long ones.
He’s done it all while being one of the nicest players in baseball, this coming from many different avenues we’ve heard from. This is a guy who is in the middle of a lineup on a team that wasn’t expected to do too much this season. They lost CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. They’re still in first place and that’s with Manny Parra getting sent down.
People look at the Brewers and wonder how they’re doing it. Everyone knows about Ryan Braun (almost too many people these days), but Fielder has managed to almost fly under the radar. And he’s as big of a reason this team is atop the NL Central standings as anything else.
Even the Brewers themselves went out of their way to lock up Braun to a long term contract while Fielder got extended for only two years. The better offensive player just might be Prince, who is still just 25 years old.
Should be manage to go on a tear, not only will the Brewers win the NL Central going away; Prince should get some MVP votes in the National League. This is a quiet slugger who is easy to like and even easier to root for. His headlines come from his long home runs and incredibly solid approach at the plate; not any head-turning quotes that distract the team from keeping good chemistry.