By Robert Held
Connor Fitzsimons may have finished his college baseball career at Central Connecticut State University, but he is not done playing baseball yet. Last weekend, Fitzsimons signed a contract with Los Angeles Angels.
Fitzsimons will be playing on the rookie team the Arizona League Angels. The Arizona League Angels season runs through August 29th. It is believed that Fitzsimons will be playing as catcher, since that is where he played the majority of the time at Central.
Fitzsimons dominated the catching position defensively during his collegiate career. He had a career .985 fielding percentage, and threw out 44 runners on attempted stolen bases.
“He [Central assistant coach Pat Hall] told me I’m a defense guy so they want me to focus on handling the runners and handling the pitchers. So that’s kind of something that I keep in the back of my mind and I’ve been paying more attention to,” said Fitzsimons during his junior year at Central.
Fitzsimons also performed strongly on offense during his senior season. He hit a career-high .321 with two home runs, and led Central with 29 runs batted in. Also, Fitzsimons was named First Team All-NEC this season, and helped Central qualify for the NEC tournament.
During his four seasons at Central, Fitzsimons played in at least 30 games each year for the Blue Devils. Even going back to his high school playing days, Fitzsimons was a standout. In 2012 he was named an All-Conference catcher and was chosen for the USA NTIS North Atlantic showcase team. In 2011, Fitzsimons appeared in the Connecticut High School All-Stars game.
Originally from Bristol Connecticut, Fitzsimons attended Bristol Eastern High School. The 22-year-old recently went undrafted, but that did not stop the Angels from signing him after the draft was over.
In order to improve his chances of getting signed to a Major League baseball team, Fitzsimons spent the summer of 2014 and 2015 playing for the Keene Swamp Bats. The Swamp Bats are part of the College Summer Leagues. While playing as a Swamp Bat, Fitzsimons hit .216 with four home runs and 28 runs batted in during 222 at bats.
The College Summer Leagues allows college players to get more playing time and experience, so those who might not have been noticed by professional scouts during the college season get another chance to perform. Players travel from all over the United States to play for teams in College Summer Leagues. One of the better known College Summer Leagues is the Cape Cod League.