An Angels outfield prospect with an ichthyological surname? Greatness must be sure to follow! Up next on our prospect countdown is Michael Fish who will look to carry on the great tradition that Mike Trout and Tim Salmon set before him. Let's hope this late-round draft pick doesn't turn out to be a flop... because, you know, fish flop on dry land. OK, no more fish jokes, onto the scouting report.
Position: OF Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'1" Weight: 190
Age: 23 Born: 1/3/1991
2013 Rank: Unranked
2013 Season Stats
AZL: 71 PA, .409 AVG, .451 OBP, .712 SLG, 10 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 14 SO, 6 SB, 0 CS, .500 BABIP, .524 wOBA, 213 wRC+
Orem: 109 PA, .337 AVG, .404 OBP, .673 SLG, 8 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 16 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS, .347 BABIP, .459 wOBA, 165 wRC+
Contact = B+
Mike Fish proved in his senior season at Siena College and at the Rookie Levels of the Angels organization that he’s a tough out. He can barrel just about any pitch and Fish has the raw power to make pitchers pay for their mistakes.
Power = B
When he was drafted I was told that Fish was not a power hitter but he did have some pop in his bat. So much for that assessment. His senior season at Siena College he led the MAAC in HR’s and in 46 games in Rookie Ball he recorded more than 30 XBH including 9 HR’s. Looking at his swing, Fish doesn’t get cheated. He has incredible bat speed and takes a hell of cut, though he has better balance than many who swing so hard like Adrian Beltre). He has a strong load in his front leg and quick pivot which helps him drive his arms through the pitch. He is a bit of a pull hitter which helps in the power department, but I’ve seen him knock a couple of singles up the middle so using the whole field isn’t lost on him.
Discipline = C
Fish likes to swing but he isn’t going to hack his way back the dugout. The issue with not having so many walks stems from the fact that Fish can hit just about any pitch, so he hasn’t needed to walk yet. As he finds a level that’s more challenging it’s a safe bet he’ll either see some more difficult pitches to hit or he’ll adjust and reach base via BB more often.
Speed = B
Fish can run. He isn’t heavy footed on the bases and isn’t a professional runner like Bourjos or a physically dominant runner in the way Trout is, but Fish can certainly move. He should be a 15+ SB threat across a full season in the minors.
Arm = B+
Fish has a rocket for an arm in the outfield and is best suited for CF. He isn’t elite in this category but he certainly well above average and should have no problem making any of the throws required of an outfielder. If anyone challenges him he should open some eyes with his ability to gun players down even at 3B or at home.
Fielding = B
I never saw him misplay a ball in his time in Orem. From what I understand, the reason he wasn’t drafted in the last two years was because he was hurt for his sophomore and junior seasons at the collegiate level and was injured both times diving for ball that he couldn’t come up with. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the glove to play in the Major Leagues, more that you might see him take it easy out there.
Range = B+
Fish isn’t the fastest runner in the world, but he is above average. His range in the outfield is well above average. He takes a really good route to the ball in CF, which is likely where he’ll stay while in the minors.
Performance = A
League MVP in college? Check. Drafted to play major league baseball and get paid for it? Check. .366 BA with power and speed to spare across two levels in one season? Check and check. Fish had a moster performance in Rookie Ball this season and looked thoroughly unchallenged despite being a 32nd round selection in the draft.
Projection = B
Fish slipped quite a bit in the draft because he comes from a smaller college, is for the Northeast and didn’t put the numbers in college you’d come to expect from a future pro. At least not until his senior season when he was named MVP. Fish reminds me a little of Kole Calhoun in that scouts didn’t believe their tools would transfer to the highest levels. Still, much like Calhoun Fish has across the board talent and doesn’t appear to have any weaknesses in his game. His isn’t as athletic as Calhoun is, but he’s just as strong and just as much of a gamer.
Grade as a Prospect = C+
The Angels are an organization that pride themselves on having “gamer” type of prospects come through their system. These are guys that just love the game of baseball and make their tools play up a level because of their dedication and willingness to give their all. Guys like Darin Erstad, David Eckstein, Alexi Amarista and Kole Calhoun are simply wired different than your average prospect despite not having amazing tools. Fish fits into that category. Even though he’s above average in just about every category, he isn’t amazing so amazing at any one thing that he’ll nationally recognized. Still, his numbers don’t lie. He’s good and should continue to be an above average prospect. What he has going against him though is his age. He’ll likely still be in the low minors as a 23 year old and would be in his mid-20’s before challenging for a Major League roster spot.
Estimated MLB Arrival Date = 2016
I can’t imagine Fish spending more that 2-3 years in the minors if he’s going to make the majors. He clearly wasn’t challenged in Rookie Ball and sending him to A-Ball next season as a 23 year old would seem like a total waste. It’s more likely he’ll go to Advanced A Ball in San Bernardino for a year before challenging at AA/AAA in 2015.
2013 in Review*
Yet another member of the 2013 draft class cracks our list, this time with a college senior that was taken in the 32nd round. That probably doesn't blow your skirt up, but there is some reason to believe that Fish might be an under the radar talent. Fish never really put up big numbers in college until he blew up for a .602 SLG% in his senior year. What those stats don't tell you though is that in previous years Fish missed time with wrist and shoulder injuries because he apparently is overly eager to give up his body diving for balls in the outfield.
Fish began to show up in the radar in 2013 because he absolutely annihilated the baseball upon getting drafted, posting video game numbers first in the AZL (213 wRC+) then the Pioneer League (165 wRC+). Given that he was 22 years old at the time, he could very well be the token college senior that lays waste to the rookie league before quickly fading away into oblivion. But like Wade Hinkle and Joel Capote before him, we deem it necessary to at least keep tabs on Fish until he proves to be a flash in the pan or not.
What actually should provide more hope for Fish proving to be a legitimate prospect is that his calling card prior to his big senior season was his outfield defense. Fish is a center fielder with a strong arm, excellent instincts and very good athleticism, so he has a real chance to provide plenty of defensive value if/when his bat returns to producing at mere mortal levels.
Given his production and physical maturity, there is every reason to think he will get a shot at Single-A next season where we will see whether or not his bat is for real. If so, then given his defensive profile, he could become a real fast riser in the organization. If not, well, we still can make fish puns. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
*As we do every year, the scouting reports and grades are provided by Scotty Allen while Garrett Wilson provides the 2013 in Review and Looking Ahead sections.
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