Trading for Prince Fielder was one of the notable additions the Texas Rangers made this offseason, and Adrian Beltre thinks the acquisition will pay off in a big way.
The Rangers third baseman said at a team awards banquet Friday that he believes Fielder will win AL MVP this season, ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett reports.
Fielder has finished in the top five in MVP voting three times, including two third-place finishes while with the Milwaukee Brewers. Fielder had a down season by his standards last year in Detroit, which is part of the reason the Tigers sent him to Texas in exchange for Ian Kinsler. Prince’s 25 home runs, .362 on-base percentage and 75 walks were his lowest marks since his first full season in the bigs back in 2006.
But if you thought Prince was part of a stacked lineup the last two seasons with the Tigers — and he was — the Rangers will likely match it.
Texas has Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and free agent Shin-Soo Choo set to join Prince as the team’s 1-4 hitters. Alex Rios is another strong hitter, Mitch Moreland has pop as a utility man, and Jurickson Profar has a world of talent. Having a change of scenery and playing in a friendlier ballpark for left-handed hitters, I’m expecting a big season from Prince. Will it be enough for him to win AL MVP? Maybe not, but he’ll be in the mix.