Former top prospect Josh Fields leaves Rockies for Japan

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Once upon a time Josh Fields was a first-round pick who twice cracked Baseball America‘s annual list of the top 100 prospects, but three teams and 796 plate appearances in the big leagues later he’s headed to Japan.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker reports that Fields has been released from the Rockies’ affiliate at Triple-A and signed with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Fields was crushing Triple-A pitching with a .365 batting average and 1.103 OPS in 50 games, so presumably he requested the release and the Rockies obliged (or perhaps were compensated to oblige).

He played 13 games for the Royals last season, but spent most of his five-year career with the White Sox and hit .234 with 34 homers and a .724 OPS in 217 games, striking out 235 times compared to just 69 walks.

Todd Helton cited for DUI following a crash

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Former All-Star first baseman Todd Helton has been charged with driving under the influence after a single-car accident in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to the sheriff’s report, Helton’s car struck a telephone pole just before 6PM on March 18. He was not seriously injured, but was taken to the hospital for observation. Helton told deputies that he had taken an Ambien a few hours earlier. There was a cup in Helton’s car that “had the odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Helton’s lawyer says that Helton has entered a treatment program. This was his second DUI arrest in the past six years. He was arrested in Colorado in 2013 while on the disabled list during his final season playing for the Colorado Rockies. He retired that year.

Helton, a five-time All-Star, played for the Rockies from 1997 through 2013, winning three Gold Gloves and collecting 2,519 hits and 369 homers. In 2000 he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI, doubles, total bases and hits.