SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara junior shortstop Clay Fisher, selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2017 MLB Draft, has opted to forego signing and will return to Gaucho Baseball for the 2018 season.
Fisher is one of the college games' elite shortstops. His 2017 season was cut short by surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament, commonly known as 'Tommy John' surgery. The junior appeared in just 15 games before the surgery finished his season.
In 2016, Fisher was the starting shortstop and frequent three-hole hitter, helping take the Gauchos to their first-ever College World Series appearance. The La Quinta, Calif. native played his best baseball during the 2016 postseason, batting .353 to go along with his always-sterling glove.
He contributed a number of huge moments on UCSB's historic run to Omaha, including a key three-run homer in the Gauchos' Nashville Regional final against Xavier and a web gem play at short against Washington that ended up as the No. 2 play on that night's SportsCenter.
"I had good options either way, whether it was starting a professional career or coming back to school," said Fisher. "The pro ball situation didn't work out, so I'm excited to come back and rehab in a familiar environment and finish out of my Gaucho career with a great group of guys. It's going to be a lot of fun and we're hoping to have a solid season."
UCSB received more good news Friday as four of the team's five incoming players who were drafted have decided to come to Santa Barbara instead of signing with their respective teams.
Those newcomers include infielder Jason Willow (24th round, Baltimore, Lambrick Park Secondary School), left-handed pitcher Jorge Arellano (36th round, Cleveland, Downey HS), right-handed pitcher Ben Fariss (39th round, Toronto, Valenci HS) and outfielder Cole Kleszcz (40th round, Cleveland, College of the Canyons).
Keep up-to-date with all things UCSB baseball all summer long by following the team Twitter account here.