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Inbox: Will Astros' Fisher be an everyday OF next season?

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

Prospects are contributing to playoff pushes in the big leagues, and some are trying to help their Minor League club win a ring. The Arizona Fall League is a month away from starting its 25th season, and organizations will be kicking off their instructional league work very soon. Yet all anyone seems to want to talk about is Tim Tebow.

The quarterback-turned-baseball hopeful was able to parlay his recent showcase workout into a Minor League deal with the New York Mets. Tebow will take his raw power to instructs in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which starts on Sept. 18.

Prospects are contributing to playoff pushes in the big leagues, and some are trying to help their Minor League club win a ring. The Arizona Fall League is a month away from starting its 25th season, and organizations will be kicking off their instructional league work very soon. Yet all anyone seems to want to talk about is Tim Tebow.

The quarterback-turned-baseball hopeful was able to parlay his recent showcase workout into a Minor League deal with the New York Mets. Tebow will take his raw power to instructs in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which starts on Sept. 18.

What happens from there is anyone's guess. Does Tebow follow the Michael Jordan path and see how he can handle the Arizona Fall League? Or will Spring Training be his first foray into facing better competition? Only time will tell. For now, though, we'll tackle some questions that involve actual prospects.

Tweet from @zackdanielssr: @JonathanMayo @MLBPipeline Another good year for Derek Fisher. Is he an everyday OF for Houston by mid-season 2017?

Some of that may depend on opportunity, but that certainly does make a lot of sense. Derek Fisher reached Triple-A in his second full season, and he finished with 21 homers and 28 steals combined. That made him one of three Minor Leaguers (Dylan Cozens of the Phillies and fellow Astro Jason Martin are the other two) to turn in a 20-20 season. While Fisher logged just 27 games in Triple-A, he swung the bat well there, with a .290/.347/.505 line over 107 at-bats.

With that little time at the highest level, seeing the Astros' No. 6 prospect (No. 90 overall) return to Triple-A to start the 2017 season is feasible. Depending on personnel at Spring Training, could Fisher potentially compete for a job? It could happen. Outside of George Springer, there are no true locks for everyday jobs in Houston right now. It's actually the infield that could create more of a logjam. If the Astros want to see Yulieski Gurriel at third, that could push Alex Bregman to left, where he has played one game thus far. Gurriel could also land in that corner spot potentially, and many feel Fisher will end up in left field long-term. If he continues to show his power-speed combination and offsets the strikeouts with walks, Fisher should work his way into that outfield at some point next year.

Tweet from @34bigcheese: @JonathanMayo @MLBPipeline How useful are rookie ball numbers?

It's always fun to see how guys do at the lowest level of the Minors, especially recent draftees making their pro debuts. But it's important to take them all with a grain of salt, for both guys who went off and guys who struggled.

It's a sample size thing. Even guys who start at the very beginning of the Rookie-level seasons in June only get so many reps, and they often come at the tail end of a long amateur season. And most teams look at that first pro summer as a means to let their new players get their feet wet, so they don't worry about the results. That said, a strong Rookie-league summer can set the tone and get a player on a good track to move up the organizational ladder.

It's also hard to quantify how it impacts confidence. A prospect who plays well right out of the gate takes that into instructs. That can carry over to the offseason and have him come in with a bit more swagger, in a good way, to Spring Training. Maybe it can help a player jump to full-season ball to start his first full season, but it shouldn't carry too much weight beyond that.

Tweet from @kshiau: @JonathanMayo @MLBPipeline Cody Bellinger on fire in his first AAA stint! Where do you see him next year in ranking and his potential?

It was only three games before the regular season ended, so let's not get too crazy here, even if Cody Bellinger did go 6-for-11 with three homers in those games (he went 0-for-4 in Oklahoma City's first playoff game against Nashville).

That doesn't mean you should temper your excitement about the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect. There's a reason Bellinger went from being unranked on our preseason Top 100 to his current standing of No. 34 overall. He's shown, at different times, an ability to hit for average and for power. Bellinger has been focused on the latter more of late, and he proved that his 30 homers in 2015 were not a California League mirage by hitting 26 this season. That he did so with a relatively decent strikeout rate (not to mention a high walk rate) bodes well for his future.

It's too early to know where Bellinger will rank in next year's preseason Top 100, but it's safe to assume he'll be in the top 40 again. He's played a lot more first base than the outfield, though he can handle a corner spot well if needed. With Adrian Gonzalez signed through the 2018 season, that's likely how Bellinger will break in, and it's likely to happen at some point in 2017.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.