Josh Fields can add another accolade to his already impressive rookie campaign. On Monday, the White Sox third baseman was named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 23.
Even though the season is in its final stretch and the White Sox have faded from the AL Central playoff race, Fields has continued his steady improvement. He enjoyed the most successful week of his short Major League career by hitting .525 (11-for-21) with three home runs and six RBIs.
It was no easy task, either. One of Fields' most impressive games came against Minnesota ace Johan Santana, one of baseball's most dominant hurlers. Fields went 2-for-3 with two solo home runs to lead the White Sox to a 6-4 win.
"Honestly, against that guy, you just close your eyes and swing," said Fields, who also recorded three doubles and scored 10 runs last week. "Every once in a while, someone deserves to get him, as much as he dominates everyone."
The 24-year-old enters Tuesday's game against the Royals hitting .249 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs this season. His 22 home runs lead all AL rookies and he ranks second in RBIs behind the Devil Rays' Delmon Young. Fields has been asked to play third base in the absence of the injured Joe Crede and has also been learning to improve his play in left field to expand Chicago's options in the field moving forward.
His versatility has been paying dividends, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has enjoyed what he's seen from Fields so far this season, but he knows with the type of talent Fields has, he needs to keep working hard to make sure he fulfills his team's lofty expectations.
"He has a good year if you look at the numbers," Guillen said. "In the meanwhile, you look around and he has  strikeouts, and that's a lot. Right now, he has to get better. There is no doubt that he has to get better."
It was the first weekly award Fields has picked up in his short Major League career. Other candidates who received votes were Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta (.350, three home runs, four RBIs), Seattle's Raul Ibanez (.414, three doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs), and Chicago's Javier Vazquez (2-0, 2.40 ERA, 15 inning pitched, 24 strikeouts).
Gregor Chisholm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.