Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Can The Astros’ Derek Fisher Finally Live Up To The Promise?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Derek Fisher may not be a name that excites most people, but when you look at the power and speed he’s shown over the past few seasons the numbers should catch your eye:

  • 2015 (Single-A/High-A) – 22 HR and 31 SB
  • 2016 (Double-A/Triple-A) – 21 HR and 28 SB
  • 2017 (Triple-A/Majors) – 26 HR and 19 SB

That should grab anyone’s attention, so why isn’t he being talked up more than he is now?  There are a few key reasons:

  1. Playing time concerns
  2. Average/Strikeout risk

Fisher is trying to entrench himself in the starting outfield, though in the short-term he is battling Jake Marisnick and long-term the role should go to Kyle Tucker (it wouldn’t be shocking if he arrived before the end of ’17).  That said, Fisher is now 24-years old (he’ll turn 25 in August) and despite being a left-handed hitter he hasn’t shown a dramatic platoon split throughout his career.  That makes him a potentially every day option, tempering some of the risk and meaning that the time is now.

Until Fisher is playing and producing in the Majors the risk of lost AB will be there.  However his current competition (Marisnick) is a career .228 hitter with 34 HR over 1,297 PA and Tucker isn’t ready yet.  That should afford an opportunity…

With power and speed, the only question that remains is Fisher’s average.  In his first taste of the Majors in ’17 (166 PA) he hit .212 due to a 32.5% strikeout rate.  He was hitting .318 at Triple-A (384 PA) and his 19.3% strikeout rate appears promising.  Which is real, though?  Let’s take a look at the SwStr%:

  • Triple-A – 9.4%
  • Majors – 11.4%

While the number inflated in the Majors, it doesn’t justify the 32.5% strikeout rate.  That should allow him to improve the mark overall, especially with experience, and when coupled with a good approach (23.5% O-Swing%) and better luck (.299 BABIP, 24.4% line drive rate) his average should soar.  Even if he were to hit .260, given the other skills, it would be enough.  What if he can raise it to .270+, though?

That would create a five-category producer (and in OBP formats he’d look even better).  Considering the virtual non-cost he’s a no-brainer stash to see if he can live up to the potential.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/1802/13/18
Third Basemen03/09/1803/06/18
Outfielders1-20: 03/18/18

21-40: 03/19/18
1-20: 03/12/18

Starting Pitchers1-20: 03/24/18

21-40: 03/24/18
Relief Pitchers02/12/18--


  1. sean says:

    so would you rather have Kyle Tucker or Derek Fisher?

  2. Jack says:

    Drop Kendra’s Morales for Fisher? No DH spot and only 2 utility spots.

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