Daily Herald
Fields' performance not helping us forget Joe Borchard
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 5/28/2009 11:24 PM

Is Josh Fields the next Joe Borchard?

After Wednesday night's news that top prospect Gordon Beckham has been bumped up to Triple-A Charlotte from AA Birmingham, you have to wonder.

Like Borchard (Stanford), Fields (Oklahoma State) was a first-round draft pick and a former collegiate quarterback.

And like Borchard, Fields isn't making much of his first legitimate shot at getting a regular major-league shift with the White Sox.

Remember Borchard? Great guy, but the left-handed hitting outfielder never lived up to the hype - or the then-record $5.3 million signing bonus he received from the Sox in 2000.

Borchard got his chance in right field when Magglio Ordonez went down with a knee injury in 2004. He hit the longest home run in U.S. Cellular Field history - a 504-foot shot off Philadelphia's Brett Myers - but Borchard batted just .174 with 9 HR and 20 RBI in 63 games.

Borchard was traded to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Matt Thornton on March 20, 2006, and was recently released by the Atlanta Braves after batting .119 for Class AAA Gwinnett.

Fields got his chance with the Sox in 2007 when Joe Crede went down with a back injury, and he batted .244 with 23 HR and 67 RBI in 100 games.

Not bad at all, but the White Sox were 72-90 that season so the pressure wasn't exactly on.

With Crede now wearing a Twins uniform, Fields got his chance to play this year and he's batting .229 with 2 HR and 16 RBI in 41 games.

Here are some more telling numbers: Fields leads the Sox with 48 strikeouts (Jim Thome is second with 41) and his on-base percentage is .293.

In the American League, only Texas' Chris Davis (71) and Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena (63) and B.J. Upton (56) have more strikeouts than Fields.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't mind if Thome strikes out because he hits home runs and takes his walks.

One more thing with Fields - he has made 5 errors and has a .948 fielding percentage. In the AL, only Cleveland's Mark DeRosa (12 E, .936 FPCT) has been worse.

Any wonder why Beckham got the bump?