The Tigers have brought back Bruce Fields, former Tiger player, for his second tour of duty with the organization. Fields managed the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Toledo Mudhens in the late 1990's and early 2000's. After that, Fields became the hitting coach for the Tigers from 2003-2005, and the bench coach for some of the 2005 season.
Bruce played 14 seasons in the minor leagues, including six at AAA. He had a .295/.372/.388 career line, and stole 235 bases. So, he knew how to take a walk, and could steal a base.
For the past season and a half, Fields was the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians.
His son Daniel is a prospect in the Tiger organization, drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Bruce will replace Toby Harrah as minor league hitting coordinator, as Harrah retains a role on the bench, probably as the assistant hitting coach for the upcoming season.
Bruce also teaches locally in the Detroit area, and I have had the chance to interact with him as a hitting coach. Bruce preaches patience, staying inside the ball and driving it to right center field, and pitch recognition. Fields is encouraging, hands-on, and doesn't speak in technical terms. Hopefully he is in every prospect's ear. As an organization, whenever you get a chance to bring in someone like Bruce Fields, you have to.