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2014 Texas Rangers Draft Preview: Derek Fisher

Taking a look at University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher

University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher
University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher

Beginning in 2011, I started doing capsule reports on possible Texas Ranger draft picks.  No one I profiled in 2011 was actually taken by the Rangers that year, but I each of the last two years one of the players I profiled actually was picked (Nick Williams and Travis Demeritte).

This year, the Rangers don't have their own first round pick, having lost that for signing Shin-Soo Choo, but they have a supplemental first rounder (#30 overall) for losing Nelson Cruz.  While just one high pick makes the draft a little less exciting, I think its still worth taking a look at some guys who may be options for Texas at #30.  So in the next few weeks, I'll do little write-ups on some players who could end up being drafted by the Rangers.

We'll start with University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher.  Why?  Well, for one, he's ranked #30 on the most recent Baseball America draft rankings, and the Rangers are picking at #30.  Also, Fisher was already drafted once by the Rangers.  Back in 2011, the Rangers went with difficult-to-sign high schoolers in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.  The fifth rounder was pitcher Brandon Woodruff, who is pitching out of the bullpen for Mississippi State now.  The sixth and seventh round picks were Derek Fisher and Max Pentecost, who are both projected to be first round picks in this year's draft.

While the Rangers have traditionally emphasized tools and middle-of-the-diamond defensive skills, Fisher's value lies solely in his bat.  Fisher is a left fielder, with BA saying he's below average defensively and with his arm, but his bat holds promise.  Fisher was ranked #66 in the 2011 draft class by BA, when the Rangers picked him, and the plusses and minuses then seem to be the same ones he has now -- great body, impressive raw power, quality hit tool, no other tools and a questionable approach.  Like current Ranger Michael Choice, there seems to be some question as to whether his raw power can be translated into consistent game power.

Keith Law has Fisher going at #17 to the Kansas City Royals in his mock draft, and ESPN's write-up of him is much like BA's -- impressive raw power, the hitting ability to potentially be an impact middle-of-the-order bat, but with no other tools and lacking consistency.

Fisher isn't the type of player the Rangers have traditionally targeted in the draft, but power is at a premium right now, and Texas obviously liked him enough to use a fairly high pick on him in 2011.  If he is sitting there at #30, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rangers grab him.