Brian, First Base, Player Profile, Thaller

Player Profile: Prince Fielder

It's all smiles 'round here.

It’s all smiles ’round here.

The story behind Prince Fielder isn’t unlike that of a tall tale. A larger than life kid, son of a larger than life baseball player, toting around a gargantuan piece of lumber, launching home runs into different Detroit zip codes. It’s the sort of thing that, after Prince (he even has a majestic name) is dead and gone, people will still talk about, embellishing it even more. He’s two shakes away from owning an ox the size of Mount Rushmore.

Now that Fielder isn’t a prepubescent phenom, and his fable has transformed into non-fiction, Tiger fans have that glossed over “I just had Thanksgiving dinner” smile on their faces; perfectly content. Fielder isn’t complaining, either, as he always looks like he’s just had a turkey (or two)…oh, and he’s got $214 mil. stuffed under his kids’ race car beds.

Every folk tale also needs a villain, or a trickster, and in this case it’s Prince’s father, Cecil. Reportedly it’s a broken, if not completely nonexistent relationship between the two. Cecil, as told by Prince, was a terrible father. I’m sure if you ask Cecil, he will tell a different story (“Hey, what other kid got to take batting practice with Sweet Lou?”). Either way, Prince seems on a mission to stick it to his old man, with his words and his play on the field.

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Outfield, Player Profile, Thaller

Player Profile: Jay Bruce

Is this the year Jay vaults into the upper echelon?

Anyone living in Cincinnati can tell you the 1970s were a long time ago. Gone are the days of the Big Red Machine and Pete “Please Let Me in the Hall of Fame” Rose. Because of this people living and working in Cincinnati have had a long time to stew over the drought of success. Well, my friends, the times are about to change. The Cincinnati Reds are on the verge of taking over the NL Central. They’re loaded with talent, and thanks to the lapse in judgment by two of the premier clubs in the division, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder have defected to the American League, leaving the door wide open for the “Baby Reds” to capture the Central crown.

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Feature, Prospects, Thaller

Top 10 Prospects for 2011 and Beyond

by Adam Thaller

Baseball takes more time and effort to develop a young player than in any other sport. There is no magic formula for success. As a fantasy baseball owner, this makes prospects a tricky subject. If you are in a keeper league you always want to have your eye on who is having success in the minors and which players are making the jump to the big club. If you are playing in a standard league, prospects can still be important if you have the right timing.

Last year, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg, Neftali Feliz, and Jayson Heyward were the young players that all fantasy owners coveted.

Here’s the top talent brewing down on the farm, and some of these guys will see big league action this year.

1. Mike Trout, Anaheim Angels: Last year in the minors Trout’s stats were stellar: .341 BA, 173 hits, 10 HR, and 56 steals. He was named the Minor League Player of the Year and his power numbers are only going to get better as he also slugged .490. And because he is only 19, it’s tantalizing to think what this kid will become. MLB ETA: late 2011 to early 2012.

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