By: Elliot Pototsky — Correspondent
On Friday, March 12th, Sharon High School Alum Jake Fishman made his first big league start for the Miami Marlins during a spring training game.
While he previously played in the Blue Jays farm system from 2016-2020, Fishman had never appeared in any big league games or spring training games.
“It felt relieving to get back out there in a game,” said Fishman. “It has been roughly 18 months since I pitched in a real game.”
Fishman attended Sharon High School from 2009-2013 and was Varsity baseball team Captain both his junior and senior years. In his Senior year, the 6’-3” southpaw was named to the Hockomock League All-Star First Team, runner-up to be the Hockomock League MVP, and named to the Massachusetts All-Star Team.
Fishman says in his first appearance for the Marlins, he pitched very well. “Both my sinker and slider were working well and I executed them down and over the plate,” he said.
The former Sharon Eagle never missed a chance to showcase his abilities, and he encourages up-and-coming athletes to do the same.
“My advice to young players is to be consistent with your work. The players that continue to play the game are always the players that never miss an opportunity. They never miss a lift. They never miss fieldwork. And they never make excuses. It sounds simple, but it’s really difficult to keep that up over years at a time. If you keep that up, you will always get better,” said Fishman.
Listening to those that have watched him play or practice, it is evident that he lived by his word.
Junior catcher and first baseman Connor Blaney says he had never seen a pitcher like Fishman before in person. “He had a very professional approach to everything,” he said.
From a personal standpoint, Blaney says Fishman was very nice. “He’s just like us; enjoying life and working towards our dreams,” said Blaney. “After a while, he just became someone I enjoyed hanging out with.”
Blaney says Fishman is a hard worker and knows how to make smart pitches when it comes to his strengths and pitching ability. “He could be a reliable arm on a good team,” he said.
On the other hand, Blaney says Fishman’s velocity is something he can improve on. “He’s a slower pitcher than most, and it could be a problem for him,” he said.
Like Blaney, senior Second Baseman Anthony Piscitello says Fishman has a great work ethic, is very smart with maintaining his body so he doesn’t get injured, and is a great guy on and off the field. “He would give me tips from time to time,” Piscitello said.
Piscitello says Fishman’s biggest strength is his inside curveball, but similar to Blaney, he says Fishman can improve the speed on his fastballs.
When asked about his confidence in Fishman’s play, Piscitello’s optimism was through the roof. He says that Fishman can accomplish anything he wants to in his career. “He has a good chance to become a regular closer,” said Piscitello. “He has a good chance at winning a world series!”
Being in the middle of a pandemic does not make it easy for athletes to find ways to train, but Fishman did not let that stop him from putting in the work.
Former Sharon High School Student and Varsity Outfielder Matt Jacobson says that he saw Fishman at the old field at Sharon High School almost every day from April to August. “That is what special players do,” said Jacobson.
Jacobson says that his first impression of Fishman was that he was a modest guy and not one of those ballplayers who are cocky or arrogant. “I just saw someone who likes to play baseball,” he said.
When asked about Fishman’s potential accomplishments, Jacobson says that he can make the MLB this year. “The Marlins just drafted him in the Rule 5 draft and they did not have a good bullpen last season,” he said. “I doubt that they are going to let him go to waste.”
Similar to Piscitello, Jacobson says that Fishman’s biggest strength is his inside-breaking ball. “I do not think anyone this past summer touched that pitch,” he said.
Overall, Jacobson, Blaney, and Piscitello were strongly motivated by the 26-year-old pitcher.
“He inspires me as a fellow D3 athlete,” said Jacobson. “It goes to show that if you put your mind to something, anything is possible.”
Whether it is chilling at a pool and eating pizza together, explaining the recruiting process, sharing his draft story, or giving tips to current Sharon High School baseball players, Fishman has truly made an impact in the Sharon community.
Fishman was recently sent down to the Marlins minor league affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, where he will compete for innings and seek more chances to prove why he was one of the best pitchers in Massachusetts.