Now Commenting On:

Tigers name Fields Minors hitting coordinator

Tigers name Fields Minors hitting coordinator

Tigers name Fields Minors hitting coordinator
DETROIT -- Bruce Fields is back in the organization where he got his start as a coach and manager a decade ago. But that isn't the only reason why Fields is excited about coming back to the Tigers as the organization's Minor League hitting coordinator.

It's not just a homecoming. It's a family reunion. He'll be working with his son, Daniel, who finished last season as an outfielder at Double-A Erie and is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the Tigers' system.

"I'm glad to be back. It's home," Fields told MLB.com in a phone interview.

It'll be some familiar territory he's covering. As a player, Fields spent most of his 14-year career in the Tigers' farm system, getting a stint in Detroit in 1986. As a manager, he got his start at Class A Jamestown before getting a promotion to Triple-A Toledo. He coached current Tigers Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago at Class A West Michigan.

Both of those players were on the roster when Fields got his shot in the big leagues as Tigers hitting coach and later bench coach under then-manager Alan Trammell from 2003-05. Fields wasn't retained when Jim Leyland replaced Trammell, but rebounded quickly with a job as hitting instructor in the Indians' farm system.

His work there led to a job as hitting coach in Cleveland under manager Manny Acta. Once the Indians replaced Acta with Terry Francona in October, Fields was looking for an opportunity.

He found it with the Tigers, who needed a hitting coordinator once they updated Toby Harrah's title to assistant hitting coach with the big league club, a job he essentially had filled since last summer.

"This is just a great opportunity for me to come back, especially with the window [to contend]," Fields said. "Now that window is here."

The timing allows Fields a chance to work with his son, a sixth-round pick of the Tigers in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. When the elder Fields was coaching in Detroit, he'd have his sons around the park to hit early before the big leaguers took the field. Now, his son Daniel is a pro himself, having followed Tigers postseason hero Avisail Garcia and top prospect Nick Castellanos up the ladder.

Fields has coached his son for years, of course. The fact that it's now in a work capacity puts a new spin on it.

"It'll obviously be a challenging situation -- that father-son, coach-player dynamic," he said. "But our dynamic is strong. Whereas some people I know say they have a hard time coaching their children, my son listens. We might not see eye to eye on everything, but they'll listen. Both my sons are good that way. There won't be any issues that way.

"... 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."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español