Jays’ Fishman gearing up for first full pro season

By: Austin Owens

Canadian Baseball Network

Jake Fishman is transitioning from Division III All-American to Major League hopeful. 

Fishman, 22, is in his first spring training as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Sharon, Mass., native played baseball with the Union College Dutchmen. In his junior season, Fishman grew seven inches, and had his best statistical season in 2016, finishing 7-0 as a starter with a 0.41 earned-run average over 60 innings. His impressive season earned him All-American nod, the first Union player to receive the honour. 

For Fishman, his junior season was a huge stepping-stone to a professional career. 

“I learned that it’s not really about how hard you throw. It’s about your location and reading hitters. And I’m just applying that here and its worked out well,” he said. 

The Jays took Fishman in the 30th round of last summer’s draft.

“I went into the draft knowing that the scouts were going to say whatever I wanted to hear. So when the first 20 rounds flew by, I was more prepared to be taken later on in the draft,” he said. 

Fishman was assigned to the Blue Jays rookie-league team in Bluefield, W. Va. Cesar Martin, the Bluefield manager last season, saw flashes of how good Fishman could be during his short stint with the club. 

“He’s a great teammate, and a hard worker too. He’s a good example of what you want to see in a younger player,” Martin said. “For me, he did a good job with the effort on the mound and in workouts; He brought it everyday.” 

Fishman also kept close tabs on Israel at the World Baseball Classic. He was named as a reserve for the team and hopes to play for it during the tournament. 

For now, however, Fishman is working every day to improve himself, making small tweaks to his delivery. Rather than trying to make the Jays roster on his first try, Fishman is focusing on the long haul. 

“The main thing is to keep a level head and not try and do too much,” he said. “I think most guys in my position are really desperate to impress and make the {Major League} team. And I don’t think that’s the right approach. I just need to come in every day and be a player.”