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Texas Rangers – Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton?

Texas Rangers – Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton?

Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton? That’s a question a lot of Rangers fans have been asking of late. I’d like to weigh in with my thoughts on the issue.

Josh Hamilton has been a great Texas Ranger so far. What he has done while in Arlington can not be over shadowed one bit. However, as big a fan of Hamilton that I am if I had to choose I’d take Fielder. And here is why – 89, 133, 121.

Josh Hamilton is an injury risk as he had proven over the past 3 seasons. When healthy he is one of the best in the game, but he doesn’t do anyone any good on the disabled list. He’s a free swinger that doesn’t walk much. He hasn’t been a huge presence in the post-season for the most part, but the threat is always there.

Hamilton wants to play center field which just isn’t a good idea considering how fragile he can be and reckless going after balls. He’s a great outfielder with great speed and a great arm, but he belongs on the corner just to keep him healthy.

Many people might point to his past with drugs and throw that out as another reason to lean toward Fielder. It’s not an issue for me, and it does not garner any weight in my decision.

Prince Fielder is just the better long term bet for the Rangers regardless of how great Hamilton is in the community or clubhouse. He is 3 years younger, less of an injury risk, and has put up incredible numbers over his career. He is a huge power threat that would feast hitting in Arlington. He walks a lot more than Hamilton and thus has a bit higher on base percentage whereas the slugging is about the same.

You still get the powerful left-handed bat in the lineup that you have with Josh, but you also open up some opportunities. Mitch Moreland might not command much on the open market, but he might give you something in return. Or he could add depth to your corner outfield.

The Rangers don’t have a lot of depth in the minors at outfield, but if they do decide to go with Fielder they have some chips to move that could bring outfield help. With Fielder at first for the next 5 or 6 years and Beltre signed through 2015, that could free up Mike Olt as a trade piece. Olt is a highly thought of third base prospect who could be moved to first.

Plus with the addition of Yu Darvish to the rotation, there might be a chance to move one of your starters for prospects.

Either way the Rangers will have a star. And looking back just 3 short years you never would have thought the Rangers would be in this position. It’s an exciting time to be  a Texas Rangers fan.

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