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Derek Fisher Rumors
2:07pm: Fisher will receive a full-slot bonus, tweets Jim Callis of MLB.com.
1:56pm: The Astros announced that they have signed No. 37 overall pick Derek Fisher (Twitter link). Terms have yet to be disclosed, though the University of Virgina outfielder’s slot comes with a value of $1,534,100.
Fisher ranked 15th among draft prospects according to ESPN’s Keith Law, while MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo ranked him 26th, and Baseball America ranked him 31st. He was originally selected in the sixth round by the Rangers in 2011 but reportedly turned down a seven-figure offer to attend UVA. Fisher was thought to be a potential Top 100 pick at one point, Law notes, but a broken hamate bone caused his stock to drop a bit.
Law, however, cautions that his average speed and defensive question marks likely limit Fisher to left field as a pro, meaning he will have to hit to provide significant value. It appears there’s a good chance of that happening, though, as Law praises his left-handed swing which comes with “very little wasted movement” and good bat speed. Callis and Mayo project him as a plus hitter in terms of both average and power, and BA notes that scouts have given him 70-grade raw power (which would line up with Law’s assertion that he could hit 30-plus homers if everything breaks right).
Draft junkies, you're missing out if you don't read Keith Law's latest chat at ESPN. Insider is required to read it, and is well worth your money, but here are a few highlights.
- With the fifth overall pick, Law sees the Royals taking a college arm or Dylan Bundy. Law and Jim Callis of Baseball America projected them to take Matt Barnes or Gerrit Cole, respectively, in late May mock drafts. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo went with high school outfielder Bubba Starling in a mock draft published today. Mayo mentions UCLA righty Trevor Bauer and high school shortstop Francisco Lindor as well, but Law says the Royals are not on Lindor.
- One team that is in on Lindor is the Mariners at #2, as ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that they worked him out at Safeco Field. However, Law says that while the Ms like Lindor and Starling, he doubts they'd pass on Anthony Rendon if the Pirates take someone else.
- Law hears rumors that the Tigers and Red Sox are in on high school outfielder Josh Bell, a Boras Corporation advisee who sent a letter to the MLB Scouting Bureau saying he intends to honor his commitment to the University of Texas and does not want to be drafted. Law hears a "widespread rumor" about the Tigers drafting Bell and offering $6MM, presumably with the #76 overall pick (their first).
- The Red Sox don't know how the draft will change under the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement, so they intend to take advantage of this year's draft, GM Theo Epstein told Ian Browne of MLB.com. Boston will select four of the first 40 players under second-year scouting director Amiel Sawdaye.
- Law hears high school righty Robert Stephenson "very strongly" for the Dodgers at #16. He also hears that the Dodgers can't go over slot with any pick, so hopefully Stephenson is comfortable with $1.8MM or so. High school shortstop Javier Baez and high school righty Taylor Guerrieri have been projected for the Dodgers in various recent mock drafts.
- Derek Fisher, a high school outfielder with "light-tower raw power" according to Law, will be a tough sign with demands of $2MM or more.
- Silly numbers like Danny Hultzen's reported $13MM demand "just get ignored," says Law. To get to know the University of Virginia southpaw, check out Josh Barr's article for the Washington Post. The article says Hultzen has visited with officials from only the first six teams picking in the draft, and told those clubs what he'll need to sign.
- The Mets are leaning toward a college arm at #13, writes Law. Mayo went with Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray in today's mock.
- For a look at each team's picks within the first 90, click here.