Catching Up with Pitching Prospect Braydon Fisher

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(Photo Credit: Phrake Photography)

While pitchers and catchers continue to settle back into their routines at Camelback Ranch, we thought it would be a good idea to briefly drift back to the minor league-side of things while re-exploring the depth of the Dodgers‘ stacked farm system.

For those who may forgotten the 2018 draft, Los Angeles certainly had its mind on pitching, as the first four selections were all pitchers. J.T. Ginn was the Dodgers’ first selection towards the end of the first round. However, the righty decided to commit to Mississippi State, ultimately handing the Dodgers a compensatory draft choice immediately after the first round in 2019.

Right-hander Michael Grove and lefty John Rooney were selected in the second and third rounds, respectively. Both quickly entered the Dodgers’ top prospect rankings during their first years in the system.

But there’s another future star from that same draft, fourth-round selection Braydon Fisher, who could be back on the radar very soon. After undergoing UCL surgery last spring, he spent all of 2019 recovering from the procedure.

Despite the grueling recovery process, the right-handed Fisher says he’s been throwing consistently as he continues to prepare for his upcoming campaign.

“Arm’s going great,” he said in a conversation last Tuesday. “I threw my fourth bullpen today. Feels good. Had 20 fastballs at full distance.”

Fans who remember Fisher will recall that he was selected out of Clear Falls High School in Texas and was somewhat of a surprise pick. Despite earning TSWA 6A All-State honors in 2018, he wasn’t a regular on the summer showcase circuit as a junior, which made him a bit of an unknown on the national level. Regardless, he did emerge at the World Wood Bat Association Championships, where his presence impressed scouts to the point of making him a Top 150 pick.

After the draft, the 6-foot-4 Fisher had enough time to log nine starts for the Arizona League Dodgers, tallying 11 appearances—two in relief—while compiling a 1-2 record with a 2.05 ERA. He struck out 19 and walked nine batters over an even 22 innings of work.

Subsequently, when throwing a bullpen early in 2019 spring camp, he hyper-extended his elbow, which was the catalyst of the surgery.

“I have always dealt with some soreness since high school, but this definitely came as a surprise,” Fisher told us of the injury during an interview late last spring.

Still, at just 19 years old, his advanced repertoire may be one of the main reasons he quickly re-emerges into the team’s Top 30 prospect rankings.

“I throw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a curve ball and a changeup,” he said last year. “The four-seam has to be my best pitch because the off speed stuff is still developing. The fastest I’ve ever been clocked was 96 MPH in high school.”

According to scouts, Fisher’s slider was trending upwards before his surgery, but his changeup is still very raw. Here’s a short, pre-draft video highlighting his mechanics:

As far as 2020 goes, Fisher said he hasn’t heard any specific direction regarding an agenda, but his main focus is returning to the high-level of competition in the minor leagues.

“No news yet [on the schedule],” he said. “Right now, I’m just trying to get fully healthy and back to competing.”

Fans should definitely keep their eyes on Fisher when he returns to the mound this season. With his build, his mechanics and his diverse selection of pitches, his ceiling is undoubtedly extremely high.

 

15 thoughts on “Catching Up with Pitching Prospect Braydon Fisher

  1. I assume that with his broad collection of pitches the powers that be will definitely consider him a starter until he proves he can’t do it. Any idea where they might send him when he’s ready to go this year Dennis?

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  2. Here’s a link to an article on new major league assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness. Fascinating to see where coaching is headed these days. You don’t exactly need to be a 10 year MLB vet with a long resume. I’m really encouraged by some of the pitching coaches we’ve hired this off season, plus promoting Prior. McGuiness already has some history with May and Gonsolin and they have certainly proven to be successful so far.

    https://dodgers.mlblogs.com/the-pitching-coach-with-the-it-factor-443cb4d78664

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    1. They also hired former Dodger Jamie Wright as a minor league evaluator and roving coach. Kershaw went on the offensive also calling the Stros owners comments weak. Ah, the crack of the bat, smell of the grass…..baseball is back.

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  3. Thx Dennis. I like Fisher a lot. Great potential there. Any word on Morgan Cooper? Has he reported. Always thought he would eventually be a bullpen stud for us! But I think it was his shoulder and he hasn’t pitched for 2 years

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      1. Boy, wouldn’t it be something if he got a head transplant this off season and has come into camp ready to actually put some work into becoming what his potential says he should be. If that were ever to happen I’d have to give Andrew a standing ovation for his patience because I would have cut him loose long ago.

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    1. Fisher is a Tier 4 prospect (#32) worth watching this year.

      This topic comes up every year and as a former ump is one of my favorites.

      These are interesting takes from people who know what they are talking about.

      https://www.quora.com/When-a-baseball-pitch-is-barely-out-of-the-strike-zone-catchers-routinely-quickly-move-their-gloves-to-make-it-look-like-the-pitch-was-over-the-plate-Are-MLB-umpires-actually-influenced-by-this-move

      When we go to e-zone calls you will see a few 12-6 curve balls that bounce called strikes. Many of these pitches are at the nape of the knee when they cross the plate, which is where the strike zone actually is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have re watched some games from last year. Some of those strike zones from the umps were all over the place. And there were some pretty awful games where the ump was inconsistent. They are going to use a version of the e-zone in spring… should be interesting.

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      2. I look forward to it.

        I tried to post a picture here and couldn’t do it. It’s a side shot of the strike and shows exactly where the zone is in relation to the hitter and how far away the catcher actually sits. Typically it’s 3’ away from the zone itself, which is directly over the plate. In umpire school I was taught to ignore the catcher as much as possible. “He’s not there.” Most hitters stand at the very back of the box and it’s the front knee, and only the front knee that is actually in the strike zone. The picture I tried to post is of Ichiro who is one of the few who will often move up in the box. Remember when we were young being told by coaches to “move up” to catch the breaking ball before it broke? I learned later that the laws of physics say the ball begins it’s break as soon as it leaves the hand, so what you are actually doing by moving up is catching the breaking ball when it’s up in the zone. Speed decrease and gravity is a constant pull so that’s the late break we hear about. But I digress. Umpires will tell you there is no influence on a strike by anything the catcher does. Obviously by the time he catches it it’s no where near the strike zone. Catching it “quietly” is appreciated by all umps, some catchers are better than others, but make no mistake, framing to an umpire is non thing.

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