Fields flashes power in win over Braves
Daniel Fields is healthy, he emphasized. Considering the way his last season and a half have gone with wrist, hand and oblique injuries, that’s the biggest thing.
Get Fields healthy, and give him at-bats, and he has a chance to show his swing. He showed it Saturday when he crushed a home run to right-center field at Champion Stadium off Braves non-roster lefty.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus took notice.
“That was a nice swing,” Ausmus said. “He hit that ball a ton. That wind was kind of blowing across the ball, almost in a little bit. That ball was hit a ton to get out today.
“I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t know that Daniel Fields had that much power.”
His muscular, athletic frame — he’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds — would suggest it’s there. His minor-league numbers — 35 home runs and a .371 slugging percentage in 1922 career minor-league at-bats — would not.
It’s early, but he’s making the most of his at-bats so far. He followed up his home run with a bloop single, improving him to 5-for-11 so far this spring. Three of those hits have gone for extra bases. His only hitless game was his meeting with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and the Mets bullpen Friday at Port St. Lucie.
Unless something crazy happens, Fields is ticketed for a second season at Triple-A Toledo. The early-season call-ups of Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks and J.D. Martinez over the last five years show what a hot start can mean. In the cases of Boesch and Dirks, those hot starts came after very good Spring Trainings.