Many remember when Bruce Fields roamed Comerica Park, and both Fifth Third Ballparks in Grand Rapids and Toledo. The Former Whitecap and Mud Hens manager, and hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers managed four winning seasons in Class A West Michigan. Tigers players from 2003-2005 loved what Fields brought to the table as a hitting coach. When the Jim Leyland regime stepped in though, It was time to move on. Now a Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the rival Cleveland Indians, Fields is celebrating as a member of his family (his son) looks to become a part of the Detroit Tigers family. With their sixth round pick, The Tigers selected local University of Detroit Jesuit Shortstop Daniel Fields.
Fields, who has committed to the University of Michigan is probably the highest touted prospect in the state of Michigan. A lot of it has to do with his power at the dish, but more of it has to do with Fields being a top all-around athlete. At the age of 13, Fields took batting practice at Comerica Park, with his father tossing to him. Not only did he hit the ball hard and spray it all over the diamond, the young Fields was able to drive one two rows into the right field stands. His father was shocked by his son’s ability.
The 6’3″ Fields throws right handed and hits from the left side of the plate. As a junior at Jesuit, Fields stole 22-22 bases successfully. He was moved to the leadoff position to give his team a boost late in the season, and it worked. Baseball America’s number 60 high school senior led his team on a run to the regional semifinals in 2008. He has wanted to be a major leaguer for a long time, but his goal is the High School state title.
“Of course, I hope I play in the major leagues; that’s been my dream since I was young, especially going to the park with my dad,” he said. “I’ve seen what they do, and it’s something I fell in love with when I was little.
“But I’m trying to get back to the state championship game and win one. That’s where my focus is.”
Fields and Jesuit fell short of the State Finals, but now he has a real tough decision to make. On one end of the spectrum is the University of Michigan, a program that Fields has fallen in love with. On the other hand is playing for the team the Fields grew up around as a teenager, and playing for two squads he watched his dad managed. Earlier in the year, Daniel really wanted to go to U-of-M, and that scared some teams off.
“Right now, I really want to go to Michigan,” Fields said in late May. “I want to play for Rich, Coach Maloney. He’s a great guy. He’s one of the main reasons I’m going to Michigan. He calls me a lot to check up on me and see how things are going.”
Now though, with a possibility of becoming a Major Leaguer a true reality, and the prospects of playing for the Tigers at hand, the smart Fields will have to make a choice.
“I’ve got a pretty good feel,” Fields said before draft day. “The scouts have called my house. They talk to my dad. I might go late first round, early second. Would I sign? It would depend on what they’re offering. If I don’t get what I’m looking for, I’ll go to U-M.”
Fields, who is part of a graduating class that is seeing 100% of it’s students accepted into college at the University of Detroit Jesuit has a great future in front of him. Whether the Tigers are able to convince Fields to play as a professional, or he heads to Ann Arbor, you have to love to see a local product have success. Fields has until August 17th to make the final decision.