09/07/2007 10:14 AM ET
Fields: Developing a power stroke
In the Minors, you hear the ball flies better in the Major Leagues and I think that's been true in my case. I've been very surprised, and excited, with how my power has come along in my rookie year.
I played quarterback at Oklahoma State and if you asked me what is better, throwing a touchdown pass in a full stadium or hitting a home run, I'd say a home run. So much goes into one play in football; the whole team is involved with making a play work. When you hit a home run, it's all yourself and getting a good pitch to hit.
As a young player, I've been amazed with how fast the pitchers make adjustments. You can get two hits one day and the next day, they're pitching you completely different. It's a challenge. Pitchers can switch their approach on you from at-bat to at-bat. It's a constant struggle.
My best learning has come from my failures, like going a couple games without hits. I've tried to learn how to block it out and go on to the next game. That's toughest part for me, struggling and going a couple games without hits. You have to suck it up. You just want to get one hit and try to get back on track.
I've been a third baseman throughout my professional career and it's been tough defensively in the Majors. But whether I was playing at Triple-A, or with the White Sox, the more games I played there, the better I've felt about my defense. I've been able to get some games under my belt at third since being up here, and I think it's helped.
Now, I'm playing left field for the rest of the season to see if I can play there next season. I knew there was a possibility I would be moved and so I played left field in winter ball in Venezuela. The club told me to just get ready and go out and play. It's a challenge playing a new position and there's plenty of action out there, too. It's just different than playing third.
As far as my other sport, football, I've been getting more and more questions about my college career with the season starting. I don't really miss playing football, but when I go home and go to a game, I'm sure I'll miss the atmosphere and being around the action.
I get a lot of comments from the guys on the team, and there are a lot of football fans in the clubhouse. Everyone's always bragging about their high school football days and offering to bring their videotapes to show how good they were. My attitude is, "Bring it." I have a good laugh with them. We have a lot of fun with it.
The 18th overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and a former quarterback at Oklahoma State, Fields has shown exceptional power and athleticism in his first season, hitting 18 homers in 82 games since coming to the Majors in early June. He's currently being converted to a left field from third base in anticipation of third baseman Joe Crede's return in 2008.