After watching players like Braxton Davidson, Luis Ortiz and Forrest Wall go off the board just before their second selection, the Astros stayed the course and took a potential impact bat in Derek Fisher. What is Fisher's story, and how does he project?
Fisher spurned the Rangers as a 6th round pick in 2011 and headed to Virginia after an impressive high school career, and showed promise from the jump, being named a Freshman All-American, leading ACC fish in home runs and slugging percentage. He failed to take big steps forward as a sophomore or junior and his stats are a bit lackluster, but scouts have consistently raved about Fisher's upside and he posted a .400 OBP in the 2013 Cape Cod League. Where does he stand out?
Fisher's tools grade out very well across the board. Despite failing to hit .300 in any of his campaigns at UVA, Fisher can reasonably be given a future plus hit tool grade with his balanced swing and plus bat speed. His raw power is another potential future plus tool, and coupled with his above average speed, Fisher shows the potential to be a future 2-hole hitter. He's a fluid athlete in the field who has good range, but he's a likely future left fielder as injuries have hampered his arm strength some.
Fisher's time at UVA was a bit tumultuous, but he's smooth as silk on the diamond and has offensive potential in spades. If he can overcome his injury trouble and move closer to his offensive ceiling, he could provide huge dividends for the Astros. It's a bit puzzling that he never really got it going in college, but getting a player with his upside at the 37th selection is a win for the Astros, who put together an excellent first day of the draft.