DeShields' father supports outfield move

DeShields' father supports outfield move

HOUSTON -- Delino DeShields, the father of the Astros prospect of the same name, stopped in Houston this week with the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

The senior DeShields managed the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Southern League this season and will finish the year as a coach for the Reds.

The younger DeShields, Houston's No. 7 prospect and No. 73 overall prospect, played mostly second base in three-plus seasons in the Astros organization, but will be moved to the outfield in the Arizona Fall League.

"He's excited about it, a little more than I am," the elder DeShields said. "He's put a lot of time and hard work into being a second baseman.

"Seeing the process, he was really raw learning a new position. Seeing the hard work he put in. He was just becoming a pretty good second baseman. Ultimately, the goal is to play in the big leagues, whatever position that might be. So, to the outfield we go."

DeShields Jr. played center field in high school, but was moved to second base by the Astros organization after drafting him in the first round in 2010.

"Now, it's whatever is going to get him to the big leagues," his father said. "His offense is what's going to get him there. We all know they signed [Jose] Altuve to a multi-year deal. I don't want to say that sealed his fate. But, you don't want to be sitting behind that guy for another three or four years."

DeShields Jr. hit .316 this season for Class A Lancaster with 25 doubles and 47 stolen bases.

"Whatever is the quickest route to the big leagues," DeShields Sr. said. "I feel like he can play here, especially offensively."

DeShields Sr. played mostly second base with five teams in his 13-year Major League career that ended after the 2002 season. He hit .295 for Montreal in 1993 and stole 56 bases with the Expos in 2001.

Father and son spend part of every offseason working out with his father in Atlanta.

"It's a little different [coaching your son] than one might think." DeShields said. "I'm probably harder on the [other] kids I work with. I still have to be Daddy with him. I can't be all business. I haven't had to force him to do anything. He has a great work ethic. It's been easy."

They talk every day, either by text or phone call. The first thing Dad does in the morning during the season is check the boxscore and see how his son did. It's a daily thing.

"It's definitely harder to watch him play," DeShields Sr. said. "With me, things happened so fast. I didn't have time to think about a lot of things."

DeShields Sr. knows the Astros own an outstanding center fielder in Triple-A named George Springer. That could make DeShields a left fielder. Wherever there's an opening in the Majors is fine with dad.

Gene Duffey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.