Posted tagged ‘Albert Pujols’

Video: The Sports Cycle Update Monday

June 7, 2011

Donnie Dwyer covers the Monday updates in sports from MLB, NBA, NHL, Soccer, and Tennis. There are a ton of video highlights and interviews from players and coaches! Enjoy!!

Prince Fielder is everything you want in an athelte

April 20, 2011

This is a great article from one of my favorite writers in baseball in Tim Kurkjian. Follow him on ESPN or on twitter @Kurkjian_ESPN 

Via ESPN:

Here’s what we know about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder: He’s one of the game’s premier hitters; he’s 26; he can be a free agent after the season; the Brewers are going to try to win it all with him this year, but if they’re out of the race by the end of July, they’re going to have to trade him because they know they don’t have the funds to re-sign him after the season.

“So,” Fielder said, “give it all you got every day so you can sleep at night.”

Not everyone knows this about Prince Fielder: He’s even stronger than you think. A former Brewers coach, Rich Donnelly, once said that Fielder’s arms “are so big, you could tattoo a map of the United States on one of his biceps and still have room for Argentina.”

“He is the strongest man in baseball, no doubt, and I really think he could hold his own in the World’s Strongest Man competition,” said Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. “His arms are bigger than my legs.”

“He is stupid strong, stupid strong,” said Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee. “We were just in Pittsburgh. He hit 20 balls in the water in batting practice in two days. The rest of us are blowing snot bubbles trying to hit one as far as him, and he’s just getting loose.”

Jerry Narron, one of the Brewers’ coaches, was among many Brewers who were asked to stand up and tell something about themselves to the team in spring training. “I told them that one of the highlights of my career was hitting a home run into the upper deck in Detroit one day,” Narron said with a healthy laugh. “Prince said he did that when he was 12.”

Indeed. Fielder went out to plenty of American League parks at that age, tagging along with his father, Cecil, one of the game’s best power hitters in the early 1990s.

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He’s a good athlete, above average defensively and a decent runner. But, at 5-foot-11 and 275 pounds, he gets labeled as a slug, which isn’t the case.

“I could dunk a volleyball in high school,” Fielder said. “I didn’t play football because I knew they were going to put me at a fat-guy position and I didn’t want to do that. I am athletic.”

Said McGehee: “If he played football, I don’t want to say he’d be a lineman because it has a negative connotation, but he’d be a quick, athletic guard that pulls, then flattens someone. He is way better than people think on defense [in baseball]. Some of the shifts we play leave him 45 feet away from the bag, but he’s quick enough to get over there for the throw.”

Cecil Fielder was a far better defensive first baseman than he was given credit for, had great hands and good feet, and could easily dunk a basketball despite his size: 6-3 and 230 pounds.

“I’ve always liked playing defense,” Prince said. “But, nothing against my dad, but when I’d come home from a game, he’d ask, ‘How did you hit?'”

Garth Iorg, a Brewers coach who runs the team’s defense, said, “The way Prince charges a bunt — I haven’t seen the whole league — but I can’t imagine someone being that much better.”

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He plays hard every play. He really cares.

“He is so much fun to manage,” said Ron Roenicke, the first-year manager for the Brewers. “On a routine ground ball to the first baseman, he is in full sprint. On a shallow fly ball to the outfield, he is in a full sprint. He takes ground ball after ground ball. He works.”

Milwaukee utility man Craig Counsell, 40, said, “It is a sign of mental toughness the way he plays — so, so hard. He’s not going to give in on anything. He’s not going to give up on anything.”

Fielder has always been that way. “I did it [not running hard] once; I was watching a runner instead of going all out,” Fielder said. “Robin Yount was with us [as a coach]. You know Robin. He looked at me. I never did that again.”

Said Narron: “Prince has a great attitude about the game. You know how many star players get their two at-bats in a spring training game, pack everything up and leave right after that? I never saw him this spring not stay for at least two or three innings on the bench.”

Added Braun: “He is so durable [Fielder holds the Brewers’ club record for consecutive games played with 327, breaking Yount’s record]. He’s never been on the disabled list in his career. We are in a sport where you are judged by production. How many guys are more productive than him?”

Not many. He has 195 home runs. Since the start of the 2007 season, only Ryan Howard has more home runs (174) than Fielder (165). When Fielder hit 50 home runs in 2007, he became the youngest player (23 years, 139 days) to hit 50, breaking the record held by Willie Mays. When free agency comes around in November, Fielder will be in great demand by several teams (how would he look in a Cubs uniform?) but likely not the Brewers. Not because they don’t want him, but because they can’t afford him at what likely will be about $20 million a year. That price tag could go up with another huge year. Off to a great start, he leads the major leagues with 17 RBIs and is hitting .338.

The demand for Fielder will be there not just because of his age — he is roughly 4½ years younger than Howard and another free agent-to-be, Albert Pujols — and not just for his track record, but for everything else he brings to a team. And what he brings to a team is a lot more than people realize.

Prince is one of the strongest people in the league and you can definitely see that from his stats. But one thing you can tell from reading other players thoughts is that he is a class man who can play the game the right way. They rave about his athleticism and about his will to win and I think Milwaukee needs him to stay based on that. This Brewers team needs to win now to generate more revenue to pay this guy the big dollars because he deserves it. He has done everything right for this ball club and if Milwaukee wants to stay competitive for a few more years, they are going to need a prince to lead the empire…

MLB All Star Week: Home Run Derby

July 15, 2010

In the past few home run derby’s, the best performance doesn’t win. Examples are 2008, Josh Hamilton’s hits a record of 28 homers in the first round at Yankee stadium and the winner of the derby was Justin Morneau. In 2006, David Wright hit 16 in the first round and made a name for himself but Ryan Howard won that year. In 2003, Albert Pujols hits 14 in the second round but lost to none other than Garret Anderson. No one remembers these guys winning but everyone remembers the show that the other players put on from that home run derby. So what would happen this year?

On Monday, The Home Run Derby stuck Angel Stadium and not many big bats entered the tournament besides David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera, and Matt Holliday. The random participants were Nick Swisher, Chris Young, and Hanley Ramirez.

The first round started off with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart hitting 13 homers right off the bat. Then Swisher hit 4, Wells hit 2, C.Young hit 1. Right from there, you knew that it wasn’t going to be an interesting derby.

Then after the first round, Red Sox DH David Ortiz started to heat up and hit 13 in that round. Hanley Ramirez would follow-up with 11 homers and it would be a final between the battle of youth versus experience. However, Ortiz was too much for the young Hanley and hit 11 in the final round with a total of 32 to win the Derby.

Here is the list:

 
Player Team Round 1 Round 2 Subtotal Finals Total
David Ortiz Boston 8 13 21 11 32
Hanley Ramírez Florida 9 12 21 5 26
Corey Hart Milwaukee 13 0 13 13
Miguel Cabrera Detroit 7 5 12 12
Matt Holliday St. Louis 5 5 5
Nick Swisher New York (AL) 4 4 4
Vernon Wells Toronto 2 2 2
Chris Young Arizona 1 1 1

David Ortiz must have been using his juices to hit out those homers or he must be really good at slow pitch softball because he fisted so many out of there. Granted, he did blast some out of the yard easily but it looked like he wasn’t even trying and it was flying off his bat. To be a .183 hitter with one home run to a 17 home run guy and .280 hitter in over two months is one of the most drastic changes I have ever seen in baseball. While his swing may look sweet now,  I really think this will affect his swing come the next couple of months…

…Couple of other notes to mention is Holliday hit the farthest home run at 497, a moon shot which was extremely impressive. Give it up to Corey Hart who, like David Ortiz, struggled early but has found his stroke and is a leader. To hit 13 in a round is really impressive and that was the most in a round since his teammate Prince Fielder in 2009 had 11…