AMHERST, Mass. – Junior Drew Fischer of the Amherst College baseball team has been selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Wednesday evening.
Fischer was drafted 1,048th overall in the 35th round (out of 40) by Pirates' General Manager, Neal Huntington. A hard-throwing right-hander, Fischer is the 18th player in Amherst College history to get selected in the MLB Draft, which began in 1965, and is the second Mammoth junior in three years and third junior overall to be drafted following the lead of Mike Odenwaelder '16 in 2015 and John Cerutti '82 in 1981.
A noteworthy reflection of the baseball program – the College's oldest sport - Fischer is the fourth Amherst student-athlete to get drafted in the last seven years, and the third since 2015, as Odenwaelder and Robert Lucido '15 were selected by the Baltamore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively, following the 2015 campaign. He is the first true pitcher to be selected since 1982 when David McCarthy '82 was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 481st overall pick.
"I am proud of Drew for all that he has accomplished because he dedicates himself to improving his own abilities, while supporting and caring deeply about his teammates. He embodies all that I hope Amherst athletes strive toward; in addition to success on the baseball field, Drew excels in the classroom and he is actively involved within the campus community," said Amherst baseball head coach Brian Hamm. "Drew is very deserving of this opportunity; he has long dedicated himself to the goal of playing professional baseball and has matched this ambition with one of the most impressive and disciplined work ethics that I have ever seen of an athlete. His coaches and teammates are very excited for him! This accomplishment is also the result of the work of many people who have guided Drew along the way beginning with his family and youth coaches to his teammates and pitching coaches Bob Cook '13 and Jordan Tabakman at Amherst. Ironically, Drew will be reconnecting with Cook who works with the Major League club in the Pirates organization"
At 6-3, 210-pounds, the Winnetka, Ill. Native dominated in 25.2 innings on the mound in 2017, posting a 2-0 record while allowing just 11 hits and four earned runs and striking out 30 batters. Leading the Mammoth pitching staff with a 1.40 ERA, Fischer also boasted an impressive 10.52 K/9 average. Regularly overpowering hitters, Fischer has seen 39% of Amherst's outs while he is on the hill come by way of strikeouts and has proven lights out in the clutch – owning a .079 ERA with runners on base and a .091 ERA with runners in scoring position during his junior campaign.
"Drew comes from a wonderful family that has shown great support to him and who taught him to handle his success with grace and humility," commented Hamm. "Drew's entire family is incredibly active - his sister rowed at Stanford – which is where Drew gets his athleticism and drive."
Since joining the program in 2014-15, Fischer has helped guide Amherst to three consecutive NESCAC Championship tournaments and to the Regionals of the NCAA Division III Championship. In three seasons, the junior has posted a solid 3.06 ERA and a 10.80 K/9 average while whiffing 60 in 18 appearances.
"The baseball program is a leader in DIII athletics, New England college baseball, and within our athletics department in the number of professional athletes that we produce and the number of alumni who go on to work in professional sports," remarked Hamm. "Having two juniors drafted in the MLB Draft in the past three years is quite an accomplishment. It shows that we continue to be a program where players can develop themselves into professional prospects while receiving an outstanding education. Many of our players have a lot of success at the next level because of the technical and tactical aspects of the game that they learn at Amherst, which serve them well against professional competition."