By: Jeff Riger
For some reason the guys in the big leagues with the prettiest swings happen to be lefties. Think about it: Bonds, Griffey and of course Strawberry, all were lefties and all had cuts that fans fell in love with. Of course it also helped that they were three of the best players I ever watched growing up.
But who has the prettiest swing these days?
Is it a lefty?
I don’t have the answer. However, I do know who has the most violent stroke out there. It’s none other than the Tigers’ Prince Fielder, the man who won another Home Run Derby Monday night in Kansas City. Fielder joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only two players to win the event two times and he becomes the only player to win it as a representative from both leagues.
Getting back to Fielder’s swing, when I watch it, the first word that pops in to my head is anger. The utter beating he puts on the baseball makes you almost feel bad for the leather, threads and cork inside. Fielder flat out mashes! There is no more vicious swing in Major League Baseball than Fielders, but do his teammates agree?
After the Tigers completed a sweep of the Royals and advanced their winning streak to five, I went around the Detroit clubhouse to find out how some of the players describe Fielder’s swing. Below were their responses.
I asked Quintin Berry if he knows of any other player that swings as violently as Prince. “No, he’s pretty much the only dude I know that swings that way, I’m just glad we got him on our team,” Berry said.
Phil Coke actually compared Fielder’s swing to that of first ballot hall of famer Barry Bonds; well, he would have been, if he never used Steroids. “I actually saw two at-bats from Barry Bonds when I was in Junior College, just short, strong, quick to the ball to contact” said Coke in regards to Prince having a similar swing to Bonds.
Max Scherzer summed up Fielder’s swing by saying “he swings hard every time, it’s so impressive to see how much bat speed he generates. That’s just something you don’t get to appreciate unless you actually play with him and can watch him day in and day out.”
So did Prince himself pattern his swing off any player in particular? “No just me, I just try to swing hard, I guess. There is no real formula. I think you just try to hit the ball hard and try to make it go far.”
And, that is exactly what Fielder did on Monday night in the Home Run Derby. Let’s all just hope that it continues when the second half of the season officially begins Friday in Baltimore.