Josh Fields Talks About Early Success
You can’t help but be impressed with what right-handed reliever Josh Fields has been able to do in his first two outings with the PawSox.
Saturday night in Rochester, Fields tossed two perfect innings while striking out three batters by using his 94-96 mph fastball and a nasty 12-6 curveball. Furthermore, Fields pounded the strike zone, something that has been an issue at times for him in the past, firing 21 pitches, 17 for strikes.
“The big thing you like from him is he’s got ‘stuff,'” PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said of Fields. “You like ‘stuff’ as a manager, that beats hitters.”
Fields was called-up to Pawtucket on August 3 after starting the season with Double-A Portland. In his final 14 outings with the Sea Dogs dating back to June 13, Fields went 2-0, 0.37 ERA (1 ER/24.1 IP) while allowing just six hits, five walks, and 30 strikeouts.
“Looks like he’s throwing with a lot of confidence right now and is really pounding the zone,” said Beyeler. “You bring that kind of stuff to the table and he’s going to have success.”
As strange as it may sound, when I first watched Fields pitch, I was reminded of two drastically different pitchers: Tim Lincecum and Garrett Mock. With Lincecum, it’s more because of his delivery, physical build, and, yes, the hair. Josh explained to me that when he was in college, his delivery was even more exaggerated than it is now. Not only was his back facing the hitter on his windup, but he really buckled his back leg and brought his arm so high over his head it almost resembled dunking a basketball.
In college, the coaching staff at the University of Georgia cleaned up his mechanics, enabling him to throw his spike curve for a strike. That’s where his resemblance to Mock comes in. Both feature the same mix of pitches: fastball, curve, and changeup. Fields, who throws exclusively a four-seam fastball, throws a little harder than Mock, but his curveball, as Arnie told me, isn’t as loopy and slow has Mock’s (slightly more of a slurve at times).
Both Mock and Fields have a changeup that’s a work in progress. While Fields won’t stop working on it, if his changeup ever fully develops, it would be, as he describes, “icing on the cake.”