If you thought the Dodgers were done with their player signings this winter, you would be wrong I guess. Yesterday the Dodgers signed journeyman infielder Josh Fields. The terms of the contract were not announced, but it’s a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. What do we know about Josh Fields? Let’s take a look……..
Fields is 29 years old, right handed hitter. He is 6’1 235 pounds, originally from Stillwater Oklahoma. He attended Oklahoma University, and was drafted by the White Sox in the 1st round as the 18th overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft. Fields was actually a two sport athlete, playing Football and Baseball. He led Oklahoma to the Cotton Bowl not once, but twice, setting a record with 307 passing yards. As a Baseball player he was just as good, earning a conference all-star selection and hitting .364 over three seasons.
At one time he was ranked as one of the White Sox top prospects. Fields played for the White Sox from 2006-2009. Fields had one big year power wise where he hit 23 home runs in 2007, which was his only good year. Josh made his MLB debut on September 13, 2006, but didn’t have his first at bat until two days later. His first AB was a good one, a pinch hit home run, becoming just the third White Sox hitter to hit a home run in his first big league at bat. In 2006 he played in 11 games going 3 for 20, which is a .150 batting average.
His best year in 2007 saw him play in 100 games for the White Sox, hitting .244 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI. He had 35 walks, and whiffed 125 times. Entering the 2008 season White Sox third baseman Joe Crede returned healthy from injury forcing Fields to begin the year at triple A. The knee injuries sidelined Fields, and he hit only .246 at triple A, and only played in 14 games with the big club that season.
On July 23, of 2009 fields hit the game winning home run in Mark Buehrle‘s perfect game against Tampa Bay. The home run was a grand slam and he also caught the final out. Six days later Fields would be sent back down to triple A. Fields finished the year playing in 79 games hitting .222 with 7 home runs and 30 RBI. Overall Fields was disappointing, after suffering a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery, he fell out of favor with the White Sox and was traded to the Royals along with Chris Getz for Mark Teahen. In 2010 he played in 13 games for the Royals, hitting three home runs and batting .306 in 49 at bats.
In December of 2010, Fields signed a minor league deal with the Pirates. Come March, he was flipped to Colorado for a player to be named later. He played well at triple A, but was released on June 28. Fields played in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants in 2011. That didn’t work out well for him, he only played in 40 games and hit .202. Fields has hit 34 career home runs. Defensively Fields plays third base and left field, but has seen time at first base. Metrics tell us he is about average in the outfield, but well below average at third base. His total runs above average shows him at a -18 overall at third base.
Fields isn’t a big on base guy, his career OBP is .303, and he has never been above .320. He strikes out too much, but he has some pop. He could be interesting as a dark horse or for depth if anyone gets injured. Third base is a position that the Dodgers are uncomfortably thin at. Josh Fields could give the Dodgers an extra option at the hot corner.