Fields was supposed to be the White Sox third baseman of the future. The former first round pick filled in admirably during the 2007 season, hitting 23 home runs, though his strikeout rate and OBP left plenty of room for growth.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Joe Crede trade last year. A market never developed for a guy coming off back surgery (and hasn't developed again this year). Fields was unceremoniously shuttled back to the minor leagues, where he pouted a bit, underperformed, and got hurt. Fields played in just 14 games in a majors despite Crede going down with his usual back injury, held out of the lineup in favor of a more sure-handed fielder in Juan Uribe.
The off-season has been a busy one for Fields. There was a minor surgery on his knee in October, and a few weekend trips down to Miami to work with Joey Cora on his fielding with the World's smallest glove. And now he's reported to camp early, saying and doing all the right things, looking to get back in Ozzie's good graces and win the starting 3B job over Wilson Betemit (laugh) and Dayan Viciedo.
Will Fields win the battle? With all this emphasis on defense will anyone remember that Fields has a big hole in his swing? Besides the opposition, that is. Will Fields find away back onto the trajectory that had him looking like a plus OBP, plus SLG, minus defensive third baseman?
You know the drill. Fill out the form after the jump to add to our community projection.
Josh Fields' Stats
|2008 - Majors||14||32||3||5||1||0||0||2||3||17||0||0||.156||.229||.188|
|2008 - AAA||75||276||41||68||15||3||10||35||37||98||8||2||.246||.341||.431|
|2007 - Majors||100||373||54||91||17||1||23||67||35||125||1||1||.244||.308||.480|
|2007 - AAA||56||205||28||58||14||0||10||37||39||60||8||5||.283||.394||.498|
|2006 - Majors||11||20||4||3||2||0||1||2||5||8||0||0||.150||.320||.400|
|2006 - AAA||124||462||85||141||32||4||19||70||54||136||28||5||.305||.379||.515|