Hart’s Hot, Fielder’s Not

By Troy A. Sparks, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 29, 2010

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MILWAUKEE (BASN) — Right fielder Corey Hart has been producing more runs than first baseman Prince Fielder lately.

There are reasons behind that fact. Both have at least one thing in common: They began using new bats but with different results. After Hart’s horrific start in the beginning of the season, he was introduced to a new type of wood bat.

Roland Hernandez, a former wood scientist who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI, is a wood expert. He gave Hart and Fielder some of his new bats, which are called RockBats.

Those bats are made of sugar maple and have done wonders for one of the two Brewers. Hart, who batted in different spots in the lineup, now hits behind leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks.

Fielder, who batted in the cleanup spot most of his career, switched places with left-fielder Ryan Braun and now bats third behind Hart. Most of Hart’s 60 RBI’s are produced when hitters at the bottom of the order or Weeks are on base in scoring position.

When he knocks the runners in, the bases are cleared when Fielder comes to the plate. That, in part, explains why Fielder has only 32 RBI’s. Most of Fielder’s 15 home runs are solo shots.

Hart’s 18 home runs, which lead the National League, produced 27 RBI’s for the Brewers. His hits a home run every 13.7 at-bats and knocks in a run every 4.2 at-bats.

You can call this a breakout year for Hart and a turnaround from a miserable 2009 season. Hart turned down an offer from the Brewers, which forced them to go to arbitration.

He won the arbitration and a $4.8 million salary. Fielder is not only disappointed with his numbers but with team effort, which is below expectations.

Recently, Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, shut down talks with Brewers’ general manager, Doug Melvin, until after the season. The Brewers may be looking to trade Fielder, who’s a free agent in 2011.

He may not want to stay in Milwaukee, but Hart, who’s also free in 2011, wants to be here. Maybe Fielder will be happy again if he returned back to his old spot in the batting order.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In Tuesday’s 7-5 victory to the Astros, Prince Fielder hit two homers and drove in three runs. It was his 19th career multi-homer game.