Date of Birth: 1/23/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 24)
Acquired: 2009 MLB Draft, 6th Round
Ranking History: #12 (2010), #5 (2011), #16 (2012), #20 (2013), #10 (2014), #28 (2015)
Background: An over-slot ($1.625M) signing in 2009, Fields hit just .240/.343/.371 in an aggressive assignment to High-A during his 2010 debut season. He remained in Lakeland for much of the next two years, and compiled a cumulative .238/.323/.349 line across 295 games (1200 plate appearances) before a promotion to Double-A in the second half of 2012. After returning to Double-A in 2013, Fields posted a much stronger .284 average with 27 doubles and ten home runs en route the best season of his career. After finally reaching Triple-A in 2014, Fields struggled and left scouts with more questions than answers as he hit just .219 in 75 games.
|2014 Stats - Hitting|
Body: Athletic; has thickened up since signing; more muscular; still moves well and has good fluidity to movements; carries weight like a high-end athlete should; looks the part of MLB player; good body.
Hit: Lots of holes; doesn’t have natural feel for the barrel; will swing through mediocre stuff in the zone; expands zone frequently; goes through spurts of aggressiveness, followed by spurts of passive approach; bottom hand gets too involved in swing and causes major problems; will try to pull bat through the zone making swing fragmented and hard to control; gets power happy at times and short-circuits path through the zone with upper cut; even when he tempers desire to hit for power, doesn’t have feel to spray ball and hit for average; not a natural hitter; won’t stand up to big league pitching and projects to below-average. Grade – Present 3/Future 3+
Power: Power can come naturally when he trusts swing and easy strength; gets too eager to drive ball and will try to yank it, pulling head off the ball and leading to more weak contact; even with questions surrounding hit tool utility, could hit 10-12 home runs and 15-20 doubles if given regular ABs. Grade – 4/4
Speed: Has slowed with additional strength/mass; fringe runner down the line that doesn’t get out of the box easily; can show solid-average speed once underway on extra-base hits or underway in OF; average run overall; still a good athlete and remaining speed should be sustained. Grade – 5/5
Defense: Natural defender; can play legitimate CF; reads the ball very well off the bat; moves side-to-side very well; reads ball directly back up the middle well after struggles earlier in career; runs gracefully and appears to glide to ball most times; comes in well; not an overly aggressive defender but will give effort to make plays; above-average profile that can play to plus on the corners. Grade – 5+/5+
Arm: Below-average; doesn’t come out of his hand well; arm stroke and release are inconsistent; accuracy varies; left-field arm. Grade – 4/4
Other: Quality makeup; good head for the game; doesn’t get too high or low; can appear low energy at times because of even keel; good instincts.
Summary: Starting to earn 4A tag from scouting community; has defensive chops to hold down bench role at MLB level; if bat picks up at all, could be a fringe regular that is carried by defensive profile; 4th/5th outfielder is realistic future; coming off the bench he can offer good defense at all three positions; occasional pop and some speed/instincts on the bases.
Risk: Low risk; Low ceiling player; is what he is at this point; just needs experience at AAA to see if he can hang in a part-time role at MLB level.
Projection: Future bench outfielder whether that happens in Detroit or another system; limited potential to become more than that; with investment, bloodlines, and defensive skills, could carve out fair Major League career in a bit role.
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