Derek Fisher

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Derek Joseph Fisher

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Derek Fisher set a California League record in his first game in the circuit.

Fisher was drafted in the supplemental 1st round of the 2014 amateur draft by the Houston Astros, with the 37th overall pick. The scout was Tim Bittner. He had earlier been selected in the 6th round of the 2011 draft by the Texas Rangers, coming out of high school, but chose to attend the University of Virginia instead.

In his first professional season in 2014, he hit .303/.378/.408 in 41 games for the Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League, also going 2 for 3 with a double in one game for the GCL Astros. He began 2015 with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League and hit .305 in 39 games with 6 homers and 24 RBIs to earn a promotion to the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League. In his first game for his new team on May 30th, he had a game for the ages: he hit a solo homer in the 1st inning, then continued with grand slam homers in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. He then added a bases-clearing double in the 7th to finish with 12 RBIs, a league record, beating the previous high of 11 set in 1954 by Robert Rivich of the Stockton Ports. He hit .262 in 84 games for Lancaster to end the season with a combined batting line of .275/.364/.483 in 123 games, with 21 doubles, 8 triples and 22 homers, 106 runs scored and 87 RBIs.

He had a fine major league debut for the Astros against the Texas Rangers on June 14, 2017, going 2 for 3 with a pair of walks, and scoring and driving in a pair of runs in a 13-2 win. One of his hits was a homer off Jeremy Jeffress in the 6th inning; in fact, in a very rare twist, his first two major league hits came in that same inning. After being sent back to the minors, he was named to the United States team for the 2017 Futures Game. In 53 games for the Astros that season, he hit .212 with 5 homers and 17 RBIs. The Astros went on to win the first World Series title of their history, although he saw minimal use in the postseason, with just one plate appearance in 5 games, that resulting in a walk in the ALCS. He did score the winning run as a pinch-runner in Game 5 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 29th. It was a wild game, as the two teams were tied at 12-all in the bottom of the 10th; C Brian McCann was hit by a pitch with two outs and he ran for him, advancing to second on a walk to George Springer and scoring the winning run on Alex Bregman's single.

In 2018 he played 42 games for Houston but failed to hit, batting .165 with 4 homers and 11 RBIs. He struggled again in 2019, with a .226 average, 1 homer and 5 RBIs in 17 games. He spent the rest of those two seasons in AAA; in 2018 he hit .251 in 67 games with the Fresno Grizzlies and the next year hit .286 with 14 homers and 36 RBIs in 60 games for the Round Rock Express. At 25, his days as a prospect seemed to be behind him, so it was a bit of a surprise when at the trading deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays gave up three players, including two solid major league pitchers in Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini, in order to acquire him. He did not do much to justify the trade after moving to Toronto, as he hit a paltry .161 in 40 games, with 6 homers and 12 RBIs. In 2020, he seemed to be headed for the Jays' alternate training site when the season finally started after a three-month delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he managed to secure a spot on the roster by hitting two homers in an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox just before opening day. He started off the year pretty well, going 3 for 11 in July, but he also strained a quad muscle, and after just one more appearance was placed on the injured list, not to return until August 26th. It took him a while to get his bat going again, his batting average falling to .158 on September 4th, before he put together a few decent games, including hitting his only homer of the year off hotshot rookie Deivi Garcia of the New York Yankees at the Jays' temporary home in Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY, on September 9th. However, less than a week later, he was back on the injured list, this time with a knee contusion and did not play again during the regular season. He ended up at .226 in 16 games with 1 homer and 7 RBIs, although his year was more memorable for some dreadful fielding in the outfield then for anything else.

The Jays beefed up their outfield ranks after the 2020 season, notably by signing free agent George Springer, which left little room for Fisher. On February 11, 2021, he was designated for assignment and five days later was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for a player to be named later, P Paxton Schultz.

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