During the MLB Lockout the Twins were unable to make any major moves with their roster, but former Astros outfielder Derek Fisher was able to sign a minor league deal. (Not to be confused with the five-time NBA Champion, former Laker and current WNBA coach, also Derek Fisher)
Fisher received an invitation to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
He is doing the best he can in trying to land a roster spot. Sunday he hit a solo home run in the late innings of the Twins spring training game vs. the Rays.
Do we boo him? I don’t know. I think with the Twins' latest acquisition, we all just accept that these cheaters are our cheaters now, and we accept them for their past and hope they bring us great joy in the future. Yay.
Fisher was on the Astros 2017 World Series Champion team predominately as a pinch runner. In fact, he even scored a walkoff run in game 5 of the World Series.
Could the lefty slugger help the Twins?
Fisher is only 28 years old. He was drafted by the Astros in the 37th overall spot of the 2014 draft and was considered a highly sought-after prospect. He made his MLB debut in 2017 with Houston. He has 410 major league at-bats under his belt, 17 HR and a sub .200 career BA. In the minors, however, his BA sits at .276 in 2,012 at bats. He’s been up and down and traded more than a dozen times in the last eight years. Is it reasonable to say he will make the 40-man roster? Probably not, but could he play a role? I say yes.
Look at Rob Refsnyder and Gilberto Celestino last year. They were needed. People get hurt - some more than others - could Fisher be a sparkplug for this team at some point in the 2022 season? I think so.
When looking at Spring Training success, some guys are out there trying new things. Sano strikes out looking, and it’s ho-hum. Other players’ careers are on the line. Fisher stepped up to the plate to show Minnesota what he’s got in Sunday’s game. It’s actually something he is used to. For instance, going back to his big league debut with Houston in 2017, the guy stepped up to the plate to show what he’s able to offer. The first hit of his career was a homerun. He also had another hit that game... in the same inning. Wild.
He’s got speed. He’s an outfielder. He’s got experience, and he fits in with this team, maybe not in the best way, but as a stopgap, guy. He’s like Larnach, Sano, Sanchez... big power, big strikeouts. His numbers at the plate, as previously mentioned, improve greatly against minor league pitching.
He is going to be a fun player to watch the rest of spring training. Then perhaps we will see him produce some runs for the Saints, and who knows, maybe even hitting some bombas across town at Target Field. No harm in being optimistic.