Tigers, Fields agree to deal
Daniel Fields is going to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Tiger. Detroit’s sixth-round pick in June’s First-Year Player Draft agreed to a contract late Monday night.
Fields, the high school player of the year in the state of Michigan out of University of Detroit Jesuit, waited as long as he could to make the difficult choice between turning pro or accepting a full scholarship to play baseball at the University of Michigan. In the end, he chose the Tigers, the organization where his dad Bruce played for several years in the 1980s before a long career as a manager at West Michigan and Toledo, and eventually a hitting coach in Detroit.
Fields’ contract is believed to include a seven-figure bonus, around or close to the amount he was expected to be seeking. That is well above the slot recommendation for that round.
“It was a very tough decision,” Fields said Monday night, “because I’d fallen in love with Michigan ever since I went on my visit. It was a very tough decision. It was actually pretty hard calling coach [Rich] Maloney and telling him I wasn’t coming.”
The signing is huge for the Tigers, who took a chance in drafting Fields after other teams passed based on the expectation that he could almost surely go to school. Without those expectations, the athletic, multi-tooled shortstop would’ve been projected in the first couple rounds.
Fields is expected to report in the coming days to Lakeland, where he’ll work out before getting into some game action. He could get into some games at the end of the Gulf Coast League, which runs until the last week of August, but will definitely take part in the fall instructional league.
It has hit Fields, he said, that he’s going to play where his father came through the system years ago.
“It’s something I dreamed about doing, and then coming true,” Fields said. “I just can’t wait to get started.”
Fields said he does plan to attend college at some point.