David Fletcher is not a big, buff, slugger; nor is he a tall, slender, defense-dominant gazelle. He is 100% unassuming, if you’re just judging the book by the cover, and the things he brings to the table, the things that all his coaches have raved about, aren’t exactly anything you can pinpoint by looking at his stats. It’s pure X-factor (yes, while playing at Cypress High, his favorite player was David Eckstein, FYI).
He has a killer work ethic, an A+ baseball intellect, and rock solid fundamentals. He’s quick, he’s tough, and despite all the odds, he continues to find ways to surprise and punish opponents. Sure, the David Eckstein comparison is right there for the taking, but I like thinking of him as the baseball Danny Woodhead. Wishful thinking? Probably, but the dude has seemed legit, so far.
He was drafted in 2015 (sixth round), and he’s already found himself at the AA level. That’s quite the speedy run through the lower levels, but each jump was well earned. He killed it in Orem, and had a 22-game hitting streak while he was with Inland Empire. Then came another promotion, and he hit .300 in 20 games at Arkansas. So you can see why I’m excited to see what he does in his first full season with the (new AA affiliate) Mobile Bay Bears.
Fletcher seems like he was born to play the game, cut out of a giant piece of full grain leather; a guy who is contact-first with every at-bat, who is smart enough to constantly make adjustments against any pitcher he’s facing down, and whose glove work can hang with the big boys. He’s prone to some slumps, but who isn’t? He also needs to work on that OBP, which has taken a dive once he got to some stiffer competition. There’s still a lot of work to do here, but there’s also a lot to like.
I think 2017, with Fletcher beginning the year at AA, will reveal his place and his future in this organization. If he gets hot again, and excels in Mobile, then all of a sudden we have ourselves a young, 2B stud that’s already sniffing at Salt Lake City. If he stalls out a bit, then we’re going to get the best look yet at his flaws, and then we have a better picture of how to temper and manage our expectations.
For now, though, David Fletcher, representing his hometown Orange, CA (my old stomping grounds!), is someone that should already have your attention. He’s definitely got mine, and I can’t wait to check him out this season.