In this week’s edition of Okies in the Majors we take a look at Josh Fields, the former Stillwater and OSU standout who was given the thanks but no thanks treatment by the White Sox right before the season opened last year in the form of a one way ticket to Triple-A.
Now Fields is a few weeks into what figures to be his first full season in the majors as a regular starter. So how’s it working out? Good but not great. In 65 at bats, he’s hitting .261 with a homer and 10 RBIs.
The not-so-good numbers: Fields is tied for third in the majors with 22 strikeouts, just eight behind league leader Chris Davis of Texas who seems determined to set a new MLB record for K’s. Fields also just hit his first homer of the season Wednesday meaning he’s well off the 20-25 homers he figured to hit before the season.
The good news for Fields is he’s outpacing several other players in Chicago’s lineup. Jermaine Dye has 21 strikeouts and last year’s breakout player Alexei Ramirez has become the poster boy for sophomore slumps, barely hitting over .200. Fields looks like Roy Hobbs in comparison.
More work for Koyie Hill?
Lawton native Koyie Hill may be getting some more work, this time as a third baseman thanks to the cavalcade of injuries that are rocking the Cubs this year. The latest is Derrek Lee who left Sunday’s game with neck spasms. The Cubs are also without Aramis Ramirez who has a calf injury.
Good thing for the Cubs Hill can do more than catch. In his career, majors and minors, he’s played in 16 games at third base and nine at first. Incidentally, Hill’s pretty productive when he gets a chance. Filling in for Geovany Soto he hit .318 with a homer and five RBIs. Meanwhile, the supposed All-Star (Soto) is off to a miserable start with no homers and only two RBIs in 17 more at bats.
Former Moore High School pitcher catching on with Nats
Mike Hinckley, a third round pick of Montreal in the 2001 draft, has found a spot in the Nationals bullpen. Hinckley is rated the No. 22 prospect in Washington’s farm system and had been ranked as high as No. 1 in 2005. Looks like Hinckley may be a late bloomer. He’s appeared in 11 games with a 2.08 ERA as a middle reliever. The 26-year-old also got a crack at the bigs last season with 13.2 innings of work and a 0.00 ERA. About the only negative on Hinckley’s stat line so far is his nine walks in 8.2 innings.