Eight years ago, Dave Fisher delivered the first pitch of his life as a 10-year-old Little Leaguer. Like many young athletes, he dreamed of playing in the big leagues, stepping onto the mound in front of thousands of cheering fans and throwing a 100 mph fastball.
Now 18 and finishing up his senior year at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Fisher has a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut, he throws a blistering 91 mph fastball and has been selected by the Los Angles Angels in the 44th round of Major League Baseball’s annual draft.
“I was pretty pumped when I heard,” he said of the selection Friday on the second day of the draft. “It’s every kid’s dream, really.”
His high school coach, Paul DeLuca, pointed out that Fisher is only starting his baseball career, and has plenty of room for improvement. At 6-foot-5, Fisher only weighs 175 pounds, making it difficult for him to throw with the extra power needed for a professional pitcher.
“Dave hasn’t scratched the surface of his potential,” said DeLuca. “He’s still very light. If he can put on 20 pounds, he’ll be able to throw 95.”
DeLuca recalled a scout from the Angels telling him that Fisher was the best high school pitcher he had seen in New York state. The Angels and Reds were both interested in drafting Fisher, and scouts from both clubs made several trips to watch him pitch. DeLuca said he thought Fisher would be drafted after seeing the amount of scouting activity.
Fisher said his arm feels good, and he is ready to start his college career. He had an impressive final season with Burnt Hills, throwing 67 strikeouts in 43 innings. Angels scouts watched him pitch on five occasions, and the team decided to use the 1,338th overall pick to select him.
“He is probably the best athlete out of Burnt Hills I’ve seen in years,” said DeLuca. “He was a three-sport athlete in high school and just a phenomenal ball player.”
Fisher also played on the Spartans’ volleyball and basketball teams, but has been focusing on his baseball career. His success, he says, has come from mastery of all his pitches, not just his fastball.
“I have my fastball, but I also use a curve and a changeup,” he said. “I am where I am because of all my pitches. I don’t think I have one best pitch.”
Fisher has his next few years planned out. He’ll spend at least three years playing baseball for UConn, then re-enter the draft.
“I’ve already talked to my college coaches,” he said. “We are really hoping to improve my draft position by a few dozen rounds.”
DeLuca is confident that Fisher will do well, and said that all of Fisher’s accomplishments have been well deserved.
“He is just an easy-going kid with a great attitude,” said DeLuca. “You couldn’t ask for a better player or teammate.”
Also drafted was Troy High School graduate and former Amsterdam Mohawks pitcher Eric Beaulac, who just completed his junior year at Le Moyne. Beaulac was taken by the New York Mets in the ninth round, which was particularly special for him since that is his favorite team.
Three other current and former members of the Mohawks were drafted. The highest pick was Cord Phelps, who was drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Indians. The other two were Nate Lape, drafted in the 20th round, and Mike Spina, drafted in the 45th round.
Mike Konstantly was drafted out of the University at Albany by the San Francisco Giants, making him the sixth player to be drafted by a major league team in the program’s history.
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