Milwaukee Brewers: Why "The Prince" Should Be King

Jeff BreenContributor IJanuary 15, 2009

If Prince Fielder felt that he should've cashed in after 50 home runs, then you can imagine how he'll feel if he doesn't cash in after carrying the Brewers to the playoffs during the final month.

Fielder hit .316 during the month of September when things were on the line for the Brewers, while his supporting staff continued to struggle mightily during the stretch run. Fielder's average was accompanied by six home runs and 21 RBI.

Aside from his solid September, Fielder has been a franchise player for Milwaukee and  the center of the core of young players that include Hardy, Weeks, Hart, and Hall.  While these players have been limited with injuries, struggles at the plate, and inconsistent seasons, Fielder has always been a spark plug in that line up.

2008 was considered a down year for Fielder, who still drove in 102 RBI to go along with 34 home runs (not a bad season). The slugger has showed good discipline at the plate and an intensity and love of the game that is key to any playoff-caliber team.

There is no doubt that the Brewers could benefit from a trade with Fielder, but if you trade him, you run the risk of breaking up a solid core of players. Fielder, at age 24, has had to grow up very quickly and starting in his rookie season of 2006, he has provided leadership and  doesn't allow his teammates to focus on individual rewards. This is a team game and Fielder is a shining example of that.

That being said, it is time that Fielder gets rewarded for his hard work. It isn't worth getting a Braden Looper for a player like Fielder. Prince's accomplishments go much further than his numbers. He has taken this franchise from the basement and helped turn them into contenders.

Think of the Brewers choices without him as well. If you think that Brad Nelson or a young Matt Gamel can fill the void that Prince leaves, you got another thing coming.  Maybe a few years down the road they could, but not now.