In four seasons in the minor leagues, the Milwaukee Brewers' Prince Fielder stormed through the competition. He hit 91 home runs in 448 minor league games, averaging one home run every 18.0 at-bats. He mastered every level in the minors - Rookie (.390-10-40), Class A (.313-27-112, in his second season), Double-A (.272-23-78) and Triple-A (.291-28-86) - before earning a promotion to the big leagues and playing in 39 games last year.
The 21-year-old has created quite a stir within the Brewers' organization, so much so that, in the offseason, they traded away last year's first baseman Lyle Overbay to make room for Fielder. He has been around baseball his whole life, being the son of former major leaguer Cecil Fielder. He showed his special pedigree right from the start. When he was 12, he hit a ball in batting practice into the upper deck at the old Tiger Stadium. The Brewers hope that this special talent will handle the pressure of the big leagues.
What They're Saying
Jerry Crasnick: "Now Prince Fielder graduates from prodigy to starting first baseman in Milwaukee, where fans are so starved for a winner they rejoiced over an 81-81 record in 2005. The sense of anticipation is palpable."
March 2, 2006
Fielder delivers far more than just power
Gary Gillette: "The lefty slugger has obvious potential, but he's also the kind of player who could struggle mightily when he has to face major league pitching every day of the week."
Feb. 10, 2006
Rob Neyer: "If you're a baseball fan with an appreciation for the flowering of talented youth, you had to be happy to see the Brewers trade Lyle Overbay, because it means that Prince Fielder will now get the chance to play every day, which he so richly deserves."
Dec. 6, 2005