Player: Devon Fisher
Drafted by: Boston Red Sox
DOB: 5/1/1996 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'1", 200 pounds
School: Western Branch (Virginia) HS
College Commitment: Virginia
Devon Fisher is the kind of player who isn't going to wow you with just one look, but the more you watch him, the better he appears.
High school catchers are always a risky proposition, so a player like Fisher is a welcome respite because there's no doubt he can stick behind the plate. He's developed plenty of power, even showing it off in showcase events like the World Wood Bat Association Championships.
Making things tricky for MLB teams is his commitment to Virginia, the best college team in the country this year and one that figures to be strong next year. It's also right in his backyard since he grew up in Virginia and plays at Western Branch High School.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Fisher's hitting ability is tied more to his ability to read pitches than anything having to do with his swing; has good bat speed and an uppercut to drive the ball but has such a big load with his hands starting high and a huge leg kick that velocity is going to cause problems; bat speed will help the hit tool play better in the future, though the average isn't going to be better than fringe-average.
Boasting a strong, powerful 6'1", 200-pound frame, Fisher has the look of a power hitter; has the swing to match it, with the aforementioned uppercut that generates a lot of backspin and good bat speed; ability to make contact will limit the way his pop plays in games, though there's enough to see average home run totals in the future.
Plate Discipline: 40/50
Fisher's best present offensive tool is his ability to track pitches; can get caught on his front foot against advanced off-speed stuff, but his discerning eye allows him to avoid chasing pitches in the dirt and laying off close fastballs off the plate; mature approach might give him a little more offensive upside than I am predicting.
Fisher is already showing below-average times to first and isn't going to get any faster with the daily grind of catching on the horizon; good, smart athlete who knows how to take an extra base when it's available, but the 18-year-old will end up being more of a station-to-station runner.
There are inconsistencies with Fisher's defense behind the plate right now, though he also shows enough raw skills to project as above-average in the future; good footwork blocking balls and making throws to second base; pop times are consistently above-average, and the receiving is solid; pitch framing is a work-in-progress, though he does a good job of letting the ball find him instead of stabbing at it.
Just based on arm strength, Fisher would rate as plus in this category; accuracy is a different story, as he tends to come from a lower slot that causes the ball to sail on him; going to need tinkering, but his footwork and ability to get out of the crouch quickly suggest that he can fix it with proper coaching.
MLB Player Comparison: Yan Gomes
Yan Gomes was lauded for his defensive prowess before the Indians traded for him and then found a way to make enough contact to show his plus raw power in games. That's the ceiling for Fisher, who isn't going to be an average hitter but has the pop and glove to be a starter for a playoff team.
Projection: Average catcher on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 45 percent
There are a number of ways Fisher's draft stock could go. As a high school catcher who needs more polish on both sides of the ball, he's the kind of player who can leverage a scholarship to a loaded Virginia roster into a signing bonus out of a team's comfort zone/allotted slot money. Since he's not a superstar prospect, few teams are likely to go above and beyond to make it happen.