Can Josh Fields Power His Way To Relevance?

Josh Fields was a two-sport star at Oklahoma State, as he was the starting quarterback for the Cowboys and helped lead them to two wins over Oklahoma during his tenure. Fields made the decision to concentrate on baseball and he was the 18th pick of the 2004 draft for the White Sox.

Despite not having the baseball-heavy background of some of his peers, Fields turned in a nice year at Triple-A in 2006 and was considered one of the top prospects in the game for the 2007 season. He responded by hitting 23 home runs in 373 at-bats in his rookie season.

But 2008 was a different story. Fields spent most of the season in the minors and when he did play in the majors, manager Ozzie Guillen constantly harped on his poor defense. Additionally, Fields suffered from a patella injury last year and had off-season surgery on his right knee.

However, Fields is a guy to watch because the starting third base job is his to lose. Yes, his strikeout rate is alarming. But this is also a guy with a .221 ISO in his 478 plate appearances in the majors.

If you miss out on the top tier third baseman and none of the lower tier guys strike your fancy, Fields is an excellent gamble on the late rounds of your draft. He has the opportunity to get 550 at-bats and he has produced power at both Triple-A and the majors in the last three years when given a shot at regular playing time. Fields offers 25 HR power at the end of a draft, something not many players can say.

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I have a little problem converting “late rounds” to auction dollars for my 4X4 AL roto league. I picked up Fields at $10 late last year in a trade. he’s in his last year under our rules (keep for 3 years unless you bump up his contract $5 per year of extension). If he starts, as now looks likely, is $10 still too high?