Golden Spikes Spotlight: Jameson FisherUSA Baseball
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Southeastern Louisiana’s Jameson Fisher is well on his way to achieving legendary status in the southern part of Louisiana.
Last season, it was Alex Bregman and Kade Scivicique at LSU that earned big bopper status, while Stefan Trosclair and Blake Trahan did plenty of damage down Interstate 10 at Louisiana-Lafayette. But this year? So far, it’s been all about the Lions, and particularly Fisher, who entered Tuesday night’s game against Tulane with a .521 batting average, a whopping 26 points higher than second place slugger, Ryan Scott from Little Rock, on the national stage.
Fisher is no stranger to success with the Lions. He finished his freshman season with a .315 batting average, while he really caught the attention of many nationally as a sophomore with a .389 average (ranked 15th nationally) and 17 doubles.
But, to be hitting well over .500 after what he has been through over the past year? Astonishing, and quite the testament to the person the 6-foot-2, 200-pound, junior is.
“It’s pretty special what he’s doing; holy smokes,” Southeastern Louisiana coach Matt Riser said. “He’s been on fire, and it’s been fun to watch. In all honesty, the big part of the success he’s had so far this season is the year he had out of baseball. It’s really helped him.”
Riser is referring to last season, which Fisher unfortunately missed as the Lions put together a 42-17 overall record, 25-5 mark in Southland Conference play. The Lions fell just short of making the postseason after failing to win the automatic bid, but it was still a season to remember, and Fisher was forced to be a spectator as he rehabbed from labrum surgery.
After two successful collegiate seasons and some good work in summer action, it would certainly be tough to miss what appeared to be a promising spring, and in a draft year, mind you. But Fisher drew good experiences from the ordeal and formed into an even better teammate for Riser’s club.
“Knowing we had a club last year that would be able to compete for a conference championship, it was a tough discussion to have,” he said. “Most people talked about the talent that we lost when he went down, but the most important thing to us was his leadership in the field. He did a fantastic job of handling his business last year and did what he needed to do to be involved with that club.
“He approached it like he would get his time next year (in 2016), so he made the best of a bad situation,” he continued. “He made sure he was rehabbing twice a day and made sure he got his body back in shape. I’m not sure he wasted an hour of any day not getting himself ready for this season. He didn’t see what happen as some sort of huge obstacle, he looked at it like it was just a road around the mountain.”
Getting Fisher into pristine or even adequate shape was the biggest obstacle surrounding his season-ending injury last year. Riser said Fisher arrived on campus at about 170 pounds, but he knew he’d gain weight after seeing his brother run through that program around 220-225 pounds. Fisher eventually got up to 190 pounds before getting back down to 180 after a summer at the Cape Cod League. So, when he missed last season, there was at least the slightest concern about where his weight would be going into the fall and coming into the 2016 campaign.
Fisher alleviated those doubts by arriving this season in great shape, and getting off to a terrific start.
“I knew with him working out the entire year off, he’d gain some weight, and he just looked ready to go,” Riser said. “His body was finally maturing a little bit after that season off.
“The biggest thing for me is I knew the power was coming at some point,” he continued. “He’s always hit for a nice average and we knew about the leverage and body styles. Right now, it’s big-time power. We’re seeing the ball leave the yard by 20-30 feet at times. We’re just watching balls leave the yard with him right now.”
Fisher’s across the board numbers are so impressive they need to be written out. For instance, in addition to his ridiculous batting average, he’s hit seven doubles, a triple and stolen six bases, while also having a .626 on-base percentage, and oh yeah, an .872 slugging percentage.
“He’s really done a good job of getting up counts and swinging to get the ball into the gap. He’s swinging for extra-base hits right now,” Riser said. “There are a lot of guys out there who can do what he can do because of his special pitch recognition. When the scouts come to see him, that’s what they always say, is that he sees pitches really well.
“I’ve never seen a guy be able to recognize pitches like he does, while also being able to do things like he does from a power standpoint,” he continued. “He’ll also draw walks, as he’s a pretty selfless guy. He trusts his teammates, and he feels like if he gets on base, they’ll do a good job as well.”
Fisher’s monstrous campaign is not only catching our attention, but also the eyes of scouts as well. The general consensus is that he will go anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds in the upcoming draft, and there might even be more room for improvement if he continues at this torrid pace.
Riser and the Lions realize keeping up with the current production is somewhat of a pipe dream, but so far, it sure has been a load of fun to watch.
Jameson Fisher is becoming a legend before our eyes.
“The one thing he’s bought into is just taking things one step at a time,” he said. “He didn’t set out to hit .500 with 10-15 homers, he just wanted to have a productive season. Whether it’s a big knock or just knocking a couple of guys in, he just wants to get the key hit.
“If he stays with that mindset, how long can he stay at the current pace? Who knows,” he said. “But we’re going to stick with a one-day mindset.”