Derek Fisher: What the Astros Kept at the Deadline
To be clear right from the start. I was not necessarily pleased with the Astros lack of moves at the trade deadline July 31st. I think looking back Sonny Gray was definitely attainable. I think the organization had three prospects every bit as good as the three the Yankees traded (though I know being in-division changes things). I also thought that a Sean Doolittle, Justin Wilson, or even higher end relievers could have ended up in an Astros uniform.. However, what’s done is done and we still have a team with the best record in the American League. We also, due in large part to inactivity, have a tremendous farm system in tact.
This article will focus on a potential outfield stud who is already in the majors, Derek Fisher. While I do not think the Francisco Liriano trade was Earth shattering, I do think it was a good trade for the organization. We acquired a lefty reliever which we desperately needed. We gave up Teoscar Hernandez who is a decent prospect, but the Astros organization has several outfield prospects ahead of him. But maybe more importantly, while giving up Nori Aoki, the path is now cleared for Derek Fisher. Aoki is a true pro and was well liked in the clubhouse. However, objectively speaking for the rest of Aoki’s career, Derek Fisher will be the more productive player. Let’s take a look a Derek Fisher.
Minor League Career Stats: .282 BA, .372 OBP, .488 SLG, .860 OPS, 73 2B, 66 HR, 247 RBI, 92 SB (Played all 3 OF positions)
Major League Stats Thus Far: .258 BA, .357 OBP, .455 SLG, 801 OPS, 122 OPS+, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB (Played mostly corner OF, but a couple games in CF)
Derek Fisher was taken in the “sandwich” 1st round (37th Overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. The Astros saw quite a bit of untapped potential. While other players from a championship caliber Virginia Cavalier baseball team might have had better collegiate stats, the Houston Astros saw a swing in Fisher they really liked. They also saw a player with the speed and power combination capable of a 20/20 season if everything developed perfectly. I would have to say Fisher’s production in the minor leagues either lived up to or surpassed the organization’s projections. Derek Fisher now finds himself as almost an every day player for the best team in the American League.
He fits perfectly in a dangerous lineup that will feature three of the best right handed hitters in the game in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer. With Springer and Correa out, Fisher has found himself in the lead off spot and has done an admirable job. Fisher has almost an exact carryover of his minor league stats to his major league production thus far. Most likely, when Springer and Correa return, Fisher will no longer be leading off. However, Fisher’s good OBP and speed/power combo makes him a great fit in the lineup.
Honestly, at full strength, you could slide Derek Fisher anywhere in that lineup. When you look at the new Astros lineup at full strength, you could be talking about really talented players like Fisher, Alex Bregman, or Brian McCann hitting at the bottom of the lineup. I see the Astros A outfield lineup being Fisher, George Springer, and Josh Reddick for the next year or so. I expect Kyle Tucker to join the major league team at some point next year and replace some of the AB’s and outfield innings Carlos Beltran provided this year. Eventually, Kyle Tucker will take over the every day role from Josh Reddick in 2-3 years. That being said Reddick has been truly remarkable thus far in his Astros tenure.
Bobby Abreu – This would be a best case scenario most likely. Abreu was built in the same mold as Fisher (though Fisher is taller). Both Abreu and Fisher have the power/speed combination to be a 20/20 guy but also the patience to produce high on base percentages (and Abreu proved this time and time again with his production). Abreu wasn’t a great defender but he wasn’t a liability either. If Fisher can turn into the hitter that Abreu was, it would be a huge win for the Astros. Throwing one more out there, Shin-Soo Choo during his Cleveland and Cincy days would be a good fit. Solid power/speed with the ability to get on base at a high clip.
While the Astros did not make “big-time” deadline moves, all is not lost. They still have a super talented team and cleared space for a potential budding star in Derek Fisher.
**Photo Credit: Getty Images**