Prince Fielder is a big dude, but it's still shocking that Miguel Cabrera's tag team partner has failed to slug his weight during the 2012 playoffs. Fielder enters tonight's elimination game batting just .188/.250/.250 in 52 plate appearances, with his homer off Oakland's A.J. Griffin in Game 4 of the ALDS being his only extra-base hit. Why? His plate discipline has all but disappeared.
Prince has swung at pitches thrown from his eyes to his ankles during the playoffs. Check out his swing rate by pitch location during the regular season, and then during the postseason:
Fielder has chased 40% of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone this October, compared to 25.9% during the regular season. He's 1-for-21 when he connects on a pitch thrown outside of the zone. Giants pitchers have taken note, throwing him an in-zone offering just 33% of the time during the World Series (Fielder got an in-zone pitch about 40% of the time during both the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs). The Tigers are likely cooked no matter what Fielder does from here on out. But it would be a big help if he stopped making it so easy to get him out.