Back to June 8th we go. The Chicago White Sox select RHP Carson Fulmer out of Vanderbilt eighth overall in the 2015 MLB Draft. The Commodores are in the College World Series the same day the pitcher and teammates Dansby Swanson (No. 1 overall) and Walker Buehler (No. 35 overall) are drafted in the first round, but Fulmer still has his mind set on a second consecutive national title.
The Vanderbilt Commodores advance to the College World Series championship for a second straight year, but are outlasted by the Virginia Cavaliers who rolled over the competition in Omaha. Fulmer was named SEC pitcher of the year and first-team All-America by Baseball America. He went 14-2 this past season posting a 1.83 ERA and 167 strikeouts. Opponents hit .180 against him.
Next stop is the south side of Chicago. Fulmer has finally achieved his dream of being drafted and signed his professional contract, along with a signing bonus north of $3 million dollars. After throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Chicago White Sox game and giving back to the community, Fulmer decided to take some time off to get acclimated to professional ball as he has had a whirlwind of the past month.
Fulmer joins the White Sox rookie ball team in Arizona to begin his pro-career. He chucks one inning out west, strikes out one and allows one hit and is immediately sent to Advanced Single-A in the Carolina League with the Winston-Salem Dash.
Fulmer has a rocky first few starts with Winston-Salem, but admits that he left a couple balls up and at this level hitters are going to adjust and hit mistakes a long way. Fulmer has put up above average numbers in his last two starts with the Dash, and has put the issue of command almost to rest with his rapid delivery. With Winston-Salem he is recording a 2.57 ERA along with 15 strikeouts and four walks in 14 innings pitched. He features an electric 95-98 mph fastball. His put-away pitch is a power curve in the mid-80’s that dives down and away to right-handed batters, and a changeup with excellent movement that clocks in the higher 80’s.
While in the Dash dugout speaking to Fulmer, I got a sense of how determined he was to live up to the expectations of his peers in the organization and focusing on being a better pitcher on the mound. While he might not blaze through the minors as quickly as Carlos Rondon did last year, the White Sox are not going to rush him and are looking long-term as a future starter in their rotation.
You can take a listen yourself below to check out the one-on-one interview I had with the first round pick.