Les Miles and the White Sox

Les Miles and the White Sox
January 17, 2012, 4:08 am
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On Nov. 30, 2002, Oklahoma State beat No. 3 Oklahoma, 38-28. It was one of Les Miles' best victories while coaching the Cowboys. It was also a standout game for Josh Fields.

Fields, who was drafted in the first round by the White Sox in 2004, threw for 357 yards -- a career-high -- and four touchdowns with no interceptions against the nation's ninth-ranked defense.

That performance stands with Fields' grand slam off Scott Kazmir in Mark Buehrle's perfect game as as two of his crowning achievements in sports.

Four years later, Miles was at LSU and brought in a four-star wide receiver from New Iberia, La., named Jared Mitchell. While Mitchell wasn't much of a factor on LSU's Sugar Bowl and BCS Championship-winning teams, he did catch six passes for 82 yards against cupcake opponent Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 15, 2007. Two years later, Mitchell was selected in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the White Sox.

Both Fields and Mitchell played under Miles, and both Fields and -- as of right now -- Mitchell have flamed out as White Sox prospects.

Mitchell still has some time to reclaim his prospect status, but it's teetering on the edge. Although, like Fields, Mitchell's fall was marked by something that wasn't entirely his fault.

Fields, after hitting 23 home runs over 100 games in 2007, was supposed to start at third base for the 2008 White Sox. But the Sox couldn't find a taker for Joe Crede in spring training, and as Crede put together an All-Star first-half, a banged-up Fields was mired in a massive slump in Charlotte. When Crede went on the disabled list after the All-Star Game, Fields was passed over at third base in favor of Juan Uribe.

By the time 2009 rolled around, Fields was no longer a prospect, and in 268 plate appearances in the majors he posted just a .648 OPS. He left the organization following the season.

Mitchell had a promising 34 games with Single-A Kannapolis in 2009, posting a .417 OPS. He looked great in spring training in 2010, but suffered a devastating ankle injury trying to make a catch against the left-field wall at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona.

He missed all of the 2010 regular season and appeared in a handful of instructional league games that fall. Mitchell's 2011, then, proceeded to be a disaster, as he struck out 183 times in 541 plate appearances for Single-A Winston-Salem with a .304 OBP. Now, he rates as a fringe prospect.

The pro baseball stories of Fields and Mitchell are tough. But hey, at least Mitchell has a national championship ring and Fields has a nice legacy with the Oklahoma State football program.

(Skip ahead to 3:17 or 4:40 for a pair of nice throws by Fields)