Sparked by a late night exchange with Hitlesswonder in which he compared Josh Fields to Dallas McPherson, I decided to look at Fields' minor league contact rate and see if I could find a comparable player who has succeeded at the major league level. Remembering my comments from the off-season Top 10 list, it didn't take very long to find his doppleganger when it comes to controlling the strike zone. Fields' K/BB numbers from the last 3 seasons are almost exact matches for Johnny Gomes a couple of years ago in the same leagues at the same age.
In the majors, Gomes has hit .238/.338/.458 with a nearly average .296 BABIP. He's struck out in 32.0% of his major league at-bats, which is very close to his rate of 32.8% above A-ball. Fields has generally K'd in fewer at-bats than Gomes, but has remained fairly consistent at about 29% in every stop. Fields will need to maintain a similarly lower K-rate at the majors in order to make up for the power differential in order to post similar AVG and OBP numbers to Gomes.
If called upon for any extended period of time this season, I think we'd see something like a .225/.325/.400 line from Fields. His increased walk rate repeating AAA is a good sign, and would probably make him more bearable than other options to fill in for our injured LFer and 3B, but you'd like to see it accompanied with a decrease in his K-rate. I'll remain guarded in my enthusiasm for Fields until I see him cut down on the strikeouts in AAA or prove that he can maintain a the same K/BB rate at the majors.