Fields eyes stolen base record

Fields (2)-1

* Roemon Fields almost didn’t attend the showcase tournament where Blue Jays scout Matt Bishoff spotted him. After a record the 48 steals at class-A Vancouver, the Jays are glad he showed. Photos: Rob Marsiglio, Alexis Brudnicki. ….

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By Rob Marsiglio
Toronto Observer

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Roemon Fields’ path to Dunedin has been anything but ordinary.

Undrafted out of Rainier Beach High School, Yakima Valley Community College, and Bethany College, the 24-year-old contemplated giving up the game entirely for a job as a mailman.

But a summer showcase tournament in 2013 and a little encouragement from his brother drastically altered the course of his life.

“I didn’t want to go [to the event], because I thought, ‘I’m done with baseball. I’m going to start a job,’ ” said Fields, a Seattle native who grew up watching Ken Griffey Jr. patrol centre field at the Kingdome. “Then one of my brothers actually said, ‘Man, just give it a try.’

“So I told my job I had to do something that weekend. I didn’t tell them what because I didn’t think they were going to let me off.”

Thankfully for the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Fields got the time off.Fields (1) (1)

Despite not touching a baseball for the four months leading up to the tournament, the then-22-year-old did enough to earn a minor-league deal as a free agent, becoming the first signee of Jays scout Matt Bishoff.

Crediting his brother for his attendance at the showcase that allowed him his first pro opportunity, the west coaster often looks to another member of his family for advice as well.

Growing up living with his grandmother, Rose Pierce, Fields always has her teachings in the back of his mind.

“[She taught me to] just brush things off if they go bad, because not everything in life is perfect,” he said from Toronto’s early spring training mini camp. “You’ve got to know how to handle things; handle situations.”

The speedy prospect has definitely made the best of his situation. Last season as a member of the Vancouver Canadians, the Blue Jays short-season affiliate, Fields set a team record with 48 stolen bases in 72 games.

“In the first two pitches, I need to find a way to get over [to second],” said Fields. “If I’m baiting [the pitcher] to throw a bad pitch and it bounces to the backstop, or make the guy pitch a fastball and give our hitter a good pitch, then I’m doing my job.”

Fields realizes he needs to become a more consistent hitter to get to the next level, but his main goal is simple and stays consistent.

“Get my team a [win] any way,” he said. “If I can do that playing my game, hopefully I can move up and just help my team win. I’d like to be in Dunedin, but if it’s Lansing I’m going to try and get a [win] there.”

Currently, the record for stolen bases in a season at Lansing is 60, set by Chris Walker in 2004. When asked if he thought that was reachable, a grin spread across Fields’ face.

“Oh we can get that. We can get that.”

     Follow Rob on twitter @rob_riglio

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