Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Ben Fisher, 21st round
The Miami Marlins drafted the type of first baseman they’ve had success with recently. Ben Fisher is a big, left-handed bat from the Ohio Valley Conference.
Ben Fisher has managed to find success at every turn of his baseball career to this point. If he can find a way to continue that with the Miami Marlins, he fits a familiar mould. Standing 6-foot-1 inches tall, and weighing 215-pounds, he’s an imposing figure in the batters box.
Fisher might stand two inches shorter than Justin Bour, but they appear cut from the same cloth. If Fisher were to put things together the way Justin Bour did, the Marlins would be thrilled. He certainly has the tools and the track record to make you believe he can do it.
But Ben Fisher won’t be afforded too many second-chances as a 21st round pick.
He struggled in his first full season of professional ball. The jump in quality of pitching from the Ohio Valley Conference to professional baseball is a big one, so to some degree that was expected. He performed much better in the Rookie League than in Short A-ball.
Fisher might be slow to develop, and that appears to have been his pattern in college as well. His power didn’t start to surge until his senior season. Through his first three years at Eastern Kentucky, he hit only 14 home runs. He hit 25 in his senior year alone.
What’s more impressive is that he also increased his walk totals, while reducing his strikeout totals. He posted an absurd .455 OBP in his final year as an amateur.
Fisher was drafted because of his ability to get on base, hit for power, and plate discipline. If those traits flesh out as a pro, he could provide a lot of value.
As a pro
It might take some time to translate at the next level. With Short-A Batavia, Fisher struggled at the plate. He managed to slash only .190/.266/.230. His power was almost non-existent, hitting only one home run and two doubles.
However his discipline at the plate didn’t waiver. Fisher drew a walk in roughly nine percent of his at bats.
His numbers improved considerably one step lower with the GCL Marlins. Fisher slashed .268/.375/.341 over the course of 12 games. In his 48 plate appearances, he doubled three times and drew a walk 12.5 percent of the time.
Next: Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Micah Brown, 19th round
Given his considerable improvement with the GCL Marlins, he earned himself another season in the minor leagues. The Miami Marlins signed Fisher for a bonus of only $2,000 as the 629th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Fisher constitutes an extremely low-risk, but could net a high-reward. His plate discipline lends itself to believing the power will come with time.