Texas Rangers

For Rangers’ Prince Fielder, 2015 could just be a start

Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder, left, with manager Jeff Banister before a playoff game in Toronto, led Texas offensively in his first healthy season with the club. Banister believes Fielder has more in the tank for 2016 after rebounding from 2014 neck surgery.
Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder, left, with manager Jeff Banister before a playoff game in Toronto, led Texas offensively in his first healthy season with the club. Banister believes Fielder has more in the tank for 2016 after rebounding from 2014 neck surgery. Star-Telegram

By all accounts, Rangers’ designated hitter Prince Fielder had a remarkable season in 2015.

His rebound from neck surgery that marred his first year at Texas earned him multiple comeback player of the year honors after batting .305 with 28 doubles, 23 home runs and 98 RBI.

Manager Jeff Banister thinks Fielder has more in the tank and could put up even bigger numbers in 2016 with more distance from the cervical fusion procedure that ended his season in May 2014.

“This is a guy that, I mean, there may not be a ceiling on what he can do, but I do believe there’s definitely room for improvements and an increase on the numbers just based on where he was coming into spring training,” Banister said. “The commitment to being a hitter, trying to find his stroke again, trying to find the timing, which he did very well for a long period of time during the season.”

Fielder got off to a hot start a season ago. His power numbers picked up in May with nine homers and seven doubles. His stamina, however, may have taken a mild hit in the summer. He collected just seven homers between June and August before surging down the stretch with six combined in September and October.

“Part of that is also the rigors and just the grind that it takes to play this game. So having the body relearn that again for him is, I'm sure, necessary,” Banister said. “So I do believe that there’s an opportunity for him to improve.”

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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