In baseball, like so many other aspects of life, confidence can be the difference between winning and losing. Fielder's confidence has to be sky-high after he annihilated his competition in the derby with 23 home runs in the final two rounds—many of which were well beyond the outfield wall.
Fielder hasn't exactly been quiet during the first half of the season—hitting 15 homers and driving in 63 RBI—but his display of raw power in the home run derby shows that he hasn't even begun to tap into his full potential this year.
I expect him to ride this performance to even greater results going forward for the Detroit Tigers. In fact, I'll be shocked if he doesn't have 40 dingers by the end of the regular season, which would mean he hit 25 of them between now and then.
Even if Fielder doesn't hit that lofty goal, you can be sure he's going to continue driving in runs at a ridiculous pace. He's on pace to come up short of his career-best 141 RBI, but I don't see why Fielder can't make up the difference to match that total this year.
Will Fielder hit 40 home runs in 2012?
The Tigers desperately need more from their entire team, as they are currently sitting on the outside looking in for the playoffs with a record of 44-42. They are fortunate to be in the American League Central, though, and are only three-and-a-half games behind the Chicago White Sox for the division.
Fielder can make a major impact in a positive direction for his team by continuing his hot play. Hitting can be contagious in baseball, and if that happens, the Tigers will be a dangerous team to deal with during the second half of the season.
With a little bit of luck and some solid pitching, Fielder and the Tigers will win their division.