As August comes to a close, one prospect who had the opportunity to double dip in baseball this month is Jake Fishman. While Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp teammate Eddy Alvarez generated much conversation for his historic double-medaling for Team USA (Baseball, 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics; Speed Skating, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics), Fishman represented Team Israel in baseball. (Alongside, another familiar name, catcher Ryan Lavarnway who had a brief stint with the Marlins in 2020). Despite Team Israel ending up with a win-loss record of 1-4, they made a respectable efforts as one of the six baseball teams competing for gold.
Jake Fishman’s Olympic career may not be as splashy, but the 26-year old pitcher has not exactly settled back to quieter waters either. Since his August return, he has a recorded 3.27 ERA with two win decisions for the month. The southpaw has been primarily pitching relief in a bullpen platoon setup. His most recent performance last Thursday (August 26) against the Norfolk Tides showcased his easy and deceptive approach— a style that allows batters to make contact (Norfolk garnered four hits), but not necessarily a contact that is productive. In the three middle-innings pitched by Fishman, outfielders Corey Bird and Dustin Fowler along with first baseman Lewin Diaz provided plenty of defensive support. The Jumbo Shrimp beat the Tides 4-3; Fishman earned the win.
The way Fishman creates a sleight of hand with the baseball does not exactly trick a batter. There is no secret. It is possible to hit off him. But again, the contact is not always auspicious. The beauty of his pitching lies in the deception he creates with the motion of his body and with the speed placed on the ball. His movement suggests the 6’3” pitcher may be hurling off the mound with the ball; the ball’s speed (low 80s breaking balls and low 90s fastball) bares witness of the illusion— Fishman’s body will not indeed be flying into the batter’s box for the strike. If Fishman can master his own magic, the Marlins could add an effective arm to the bullpen in 2022.
Currently, Fishman holds an overall 3.72 ERA with a 4-1 record for the 2021 MiLB season.