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Conor Fisk Prepared for a Bigger Opportunity

RHP Conor Fisk made major strides in 2015

Conor Fisk Prepared for a Bigger Opportunity

December 6, 2015

Conor Fisk

Conor Fisk advanced through three levels in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2015. (Kyle Castle)

Playing a full season of professional baseball is a major milestone for minor leaguers. After grinding through amateur baseball and short season teams, the opportunity to play from April to September is a landmark moment that helps prospects see how they stack up against the challenges that big leaguers face daily.

Getting a taste of what to expect next season right-handed pitcher Conor Fisk made some major strides during the 2015 season. After maintaining an impressive 1.16 WHIP in 33 2/3 innings in Bluefield during his first professional campaign, the Wisconsin native entered last season hoping to join either the low-A Lansing Lugnuts or the high-A Dunedin Blue Jays in April.

The opportunity was there for Fisk, but he stayed back in extended spring training briefly as he was focusing on a new pitch that the Blue Jays coaching staff presented to him in camp. While he would’ve preferred joining a team before he did. The prospect completely brought into the process, as he’s focused on the bigger picture down the road.

“I started working on a sinker in extended,” stated Fisk. “I started the sinker to go along with my 2-seamer and 4-seamer. Basically in extended I was refining my breaking stuff and focusing on attacking hitters with strikes.”

With a fastball that generally sits in the 88-90 mile per hour range. Adding a pitch that sinks will be beneficial for the 23-year old pitcher. As a thrower with lower velocity it’ll be important for Fisk to keep the ball low in the strike zone for continued success moving forward and the sinker will fit the bill well for the former Southern Mississippi standout.

However Fisk would get an opportunity before June. Making one appearance with the Lansing Lugnuts in May, the prospect was able to put his new pitch on display. Finding the transition to the Midwest League challenging at first Fisk didn’t stay long as he went back to Florida to continue to fine-tune his arsenal some more.

“It was a surreal feeling getting the news they wanted me to join Lansing,” said Fisk. “I was down there in extended grinding and trying to get better every day. Receiving news like that was very exciting for sure.”

Reporting to Vancouver in June, Fisk was a force to be reckoned with in the Northwest League. Only allowing two earned runs in 11 innings with the Canadians was all the righty needed to do to get back to a full season affiliate.

Maintaining a 1.23 WHIP in Lansing, Fisk performed well as a starting pitcher in the second half of the season. Formally a starter in college, Fisk looked better in this go-round with the Lugnuts as he was comfortable throwing every fifth day.

Achieving another goal in 2015 by getting a brief taste of advanced-A baseball by joining the Dunedin Blue Jays in August. Fisk would have to fight through a little adversity in the Florida State League. With opposing batters hitting .286 against the righty certainly wasn’t the best way to start in high-A. But a promising sign was the fact that Fisk raised his K/9 ratio to 6.9 compared to just 5.3 in Lansing.

Fisk will be looking to showcase his skills beginning in April next season. While he didn’t achieve that after his first spring training. The prospect reached the levels he was hoping to last season and that’s a big step in the right direction.

Entering spring camp with a better understanding of what to expect from the daily grind of preparing for a season; Fisk was surprised how smoothly the process went last season. Figuring his time in Dunedin was going to be a grueling month of practice. The righty was happy to find out he was wrong about the workload.

“My first spring training was fun and nothing like I expected,” explained Fisk. “I figured we would be doing PMPs for 20 hours a day. But it was nothing like that at all. Basically you go in to do your work and leave. It wasn’t bad at all.”

There’s a good chance that Fisk will be back in the Florida State League next season as the league fits his age and experience level well. No matter the destination Fisk will be looking to continue fine-tuning his game for another promotion.

Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays will be watching out for Conor Fisk as he continues to develop his pitches for continued success at higher levels of play.