An Interview With Tigers Prospect Daniel Fields

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Saturday, January.26/2013

Daniel Fields has shown flashes of speed in the Minor Leagues for Detroit.  At Age 21, he has a bright future

Daniel Fields showed flashes of speed in 2012 -with 23 SB with the Lakeland Tigers (A+) and Erie SeaWolves (AA) in the Minor Leagues. At Age 22 (as of January.23/2013), Fields has been invited to attend Spring Training with the big club.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

Have you ever had that dream of being drafted by your favorite sports team? It’s a dream that replays in your head as you’re going about your day. A dream that makes you smile in the morning and a dream that you hope you experience again later that night.

Daniel Fields is living that dream. The Detroit, Michigan native out of University of Detroit Jesuit High School was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2009.

The highly toted prospect is making his way up the Minor Leagues. It’s a name that you’ll want to remember and a last name that may sound familiar to you.

Daniels father Bruce was also drafted by the Detroit Tigers, plus grew up in Michigan as well.)

Daniels father Bruce – was also drafted by the Detroit Tigers, (plus grew up in Michigan as well.)  Bruce made his debut for the Tigers in 1986 – and hit .279 in 43 AB. Bruce went onto play for the Seattle Mariners in 1988-89 – including hitting his only Major League Home Run.  The elder Fields came back to be the Tigers hitting coach from 2003-2005.  The 52-year-old has recently been re-hired by the Tigers to be the Minor League hitting instructor and will mentor Daniel.

ML: I’d like to start by congratulating you on being invited to big league camp this spring; it’s a great opportunity to showcase your talents. How did you hear of the invite?

DF: Thanks! Dave Owen (Director of Player Development) called me and told me I was going to Big League camp right before one of my workouts.

ML: You’ll also be seeing quite a familiar face in Lakeland, Florida. Your father, Bruce Fields, is the new minor league hitting coordinator. He told MLB.com last year, “It’ll obviously be a challenging situation — that father-son, coach-player dynamic. But our dynamic is strong. Whereas some people I know say they have a hard time coaching their children, my son listens.” He went on to say “… if he can play, he’ll play. If he can’t, he can’t. So he decides his fate. I’m just happy to have a chance to have an impact.” Are you excited to be working with your dad or is it a little nerve-wracking?

DF: I’m very excited to work with my dad this year. We have a really good relationship so it definitely won’t be a problem. I used to get nervous playing in front of him when I was younger but now that’s not a problem.

ML: What has this off-season been like for you? Have you been working on anything in particular?

DF: It’s been a really good off-season for me. I have been working really hard and am looking forward to Spring Training. Just been trying to improve on my swing and make sure all my mechanics are sound.

ML: Last season, you battled a tough abdomen injury that kept you out for a considerable time. What’s it like to go through an injury like that?

DF: Going through that injury was definitely tough at first. The first week was a struggle but once I got out and started my rehab I felt good within a couple of weeks and actually came back from it earlier then everybody expected. It was just a lot of hard work to get healthy and get it strong again but it wasn’t too bad.

ML: We all know you are a Detroit native, so were you a big Tigers fan growing up or was it a different team you rooted for?

DF: Yeah I definitely was a Tigers fan growing. My dad was working in the Tigers organization so we were huge Tigers fans coming up.

ML: Did you have a favorite Tigers player growing up?

DF: No, I really never had just one favorite player on the team.

ML: For those that don’t know, you actually hit a Home Run at Comerica Park once. You were 12 years old at the time and it was during a batting practice session. What was that moment like for you?

DF: Hitting that Home Run was unbelievable. That was one of the best baseball moments I have had. I was so excited that on the next swing I tried to hit another one and broke my bat.

ML: Let’s go back to your draft day in 2009, where were you when you heard the news and how did you hear it?

DF: When I got drafted I was at home with my mom and following the draft on the Internet. My mom heard Al Kaline come on and say that the Tigers were taking me in the 6th round. It was a great feeling.

ML: You were a Shortstop in high school but the Tigers moved you right to the outfield. Why did they move you and what’s harder to play, Infield or Outfield?

DF: They just felt like I could use my speed better in the outfield and also be able to advance faster in the organization by playing in the outfield. I definitely like the move though. Playing in the outfield is definitely easier than the infield.

ML: Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals?

DF: No I don’t have any pre-game rituals. Just put the uniform on and go out and play.

ML: What do you think it’ll be like if you ever get the chance to run out onto Comerica Park as a Tiger? Also, if memory serves me correctly, your father wore #37 while he was a Tiger in 1986. Do you know what number you would choose?

DF: That would be the best moment ever. Just to represent Detroit in my hometown would mean everything. Especially being able to do that in front of family and friends. I’m not sure what number I would wear. It probably wouldn’t matter to me though.

Thanks to Daniel Fields for answering some questions for us. Be sure to follow him on Twitter this spring.

Daniel  Fields was drafted in the 6th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft.  The OF/DH is not likely to make the club

Daniel Fields was drafted in the 6th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft by the Tigers.  Daniel also has a brother Aaron – who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 2010 Amateur Draft.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Tigers Correspondent’ Matthew LaFave for preparing today’s featured article.  Matthew was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan. Growing up watching all of the Detroit sports with his father he began to enjoy writing about them in high school. At first started out as e-mails between his father turned into a Detroit Lions blog website titled ‘Hear Me Roar’. Matthew would go on to get a job as ‘Detroit Tigers Writer’ at the website http://www.examiner.com. He has been writing for them for over two seasons and regularly attends games as a credentialed media member. Be sure to follow him on Twitter

matthew lafave

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on January 26, 2013, in On the Verge: MLB Prospects, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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