DETROIT -- Prince Fielder is headed back to the State Farm Home Run Derby in a new uniform, but he'll be seeing pitches from a familiar face. Fielder said he'll have longtime Brewers organizational coach Sandy Guerrero throw him pitches for Monday night's event at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Guerrero worked with Fielder during his early days in the Brewers organization. He was the hitting coach at Double-A Huntsville for six years, including Fielder's season there in 2004, before moving up to Triple-A Nashville. He's now the Brewers' Minor League hitting coordinator.
It's a little more than a good luck charm, he insists. Guerrero threw to him in the 2009 Derby, which he won in St. Louis, and in last year's contest in Phoenix. More important, Fielder said, is the comfort level and the experience.
It's a little more important than it would seem.
"I just had him all the other times," Fielder said. "In those situations, you want the guy you know, because it's not easy to do that. You can have the greatest BP pitcher of all time, but it's just weird with no cage."
That's one reason why it's much different than a typical batting practice. Another is the approach.
"You're not working on anything," Fielder said. "You're not trying to make sure you work the opposite way. You're just trying to hit it as far as you can."
The State Farm Home Run Derby will be held on Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.