College baseball can produce some unlikely stars, and ex-UNC Charlotte star Cam Fisher is one of the most recent players to join that category. A native of Knoxville, Fisher was a well regarded prep recruit and initially attended Ole Miss, but after redshirting his freshman year he decided to seek guaranteed playing time at the JUCO level with Walters State. He performed well there, hitting .321/.452/.603 with 12 HRs and more walks than strikeouts to generate fresh D1 interest, at which point he landed with the 49ers. As a 21 year old “freshman” in 2022, Fisher was a key piece in an explosive Charlotte offense, hitting .288/.412/.607 with 36 extra base hits, including 18 HRs.
This past season, there was a lot riding on Fisher’s shoulders after the departures of Nate Furman and David McCabe to pro ball, making him the biggest returning offensive threat. To say that he rose to the challenge would be an understatement- in 2023, Fisher was, bar none, one of the best hitters in the college game. He improved in more or less every statistical category, and was one of three D1 hitters to reach the 30 HR mark- the others being 2024 eligible phenom Jac Caglianone and 2023 first round pick Brock Wilken- while trimming his strikeout rate and walking at an absurd 21.4% rate. This added up to a .348/.507/.813 slash line and put him squarely in the top 5 round mix.
On draft day, the Astros made Fisher a priority, springing for him in the 4th round, perhaps a bit earlier than expected based on scouting consensus. After a short break, he joined Fayetteville at the beginning of August alongside a handful of other recent draftees. After a reasonably hot start, he hit some rougher waters, and spent a bit of mid-August jump-roping the Mendoza line while struggling with strikeouts. He began to find his footing towards the end of the month, but finished it with just one home run and 36 strikeouts. Encouragingly, however, he performed much across 9 September tilts, posting a .314/.415/.714 with 4 HRs and a reasonable 13 Ks in 41 PAs.
Fisher was an older draft pick, but not unreasonably so- he won’t turn 23 until midseason next year- so he’ll be expected to move relatively quickly but won’t be pushed ultra-aggressively. After his strong finish to the year, an assignment to High-A to start 2024 should be a foregone conclusion. There’s little to tinker with developmentally- Fisher’s profile is min-maxed for power- he hunts pitches he can drive, and seldom swings at anything else. When he does swing, it’s always a massive cut aimed at launching the ball to right field. He may run into issues with this type of approach at higher levels, where stuff and location are of a much more consistent quality, but with power as his carrying tool it would be foolish for him to attempt anything resembling an overhaul. Already ranked on most organizational top 30s, a successful season for Fisher in 2024 would see him earn a midseason promotion to Double-A, and evidence the viability of his hit tool at that level.