The Boston Red Sox hold the Number Seven pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, to be held starting June 8, and according to rumors and expert picks, they are expected to use that pick on a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt University, Carson Fulmer.
Of course, as one of the most highly touted pitchers in the draft, there is a chance that Fulmer may already be off the board by the time the Red Sox make their selection. In May, Baseball America predicted that Fulmer would be picked Number One overall in the draft, by the Arizona Diamondback who hold that first pick.
But after being named SEC Pitcher of the Year, Fulmer’s stock dropped somewhat after he was rocked by Texas A&M in the conference tournament on May 21, falling behind in early counts and as a result, surrendering three home runs and six earned runs in what turned out to be the worst start of his three-year career with the Commodores.
In 2014, Fulmer led Vanderbilt to the school’s first-ever NCAA College World Series championship.
But overall, the product of All Saint Academy in Winter Haven, Florida, posted numbers at Vanderbilt that earned him accolades as the nation’s best collegiate pitcher, appearing in 68 games, 26 as a starter, with a 2.04 ERA and 293 strikeouts in 251 innings. He did walk 107, for a K/BB ratio of just 2.74, so would need at least a few minor league seasons to work on his command.
At just six feet tall — and sometimes listed at 5’11” — scouts also worry that Fulmer lacks the physique to hold up as a power starting pitcher in the Major Leagues, leading to some speculation that he may move back to the bullpen, where Fulmer began his college career, once he enters the professional ranks.
Fulmer usually brings his fastball in at 93 or 94 miles per hour, but has pumped the velocity up to 98 when he needs to overpower a hitter. He uses a sharp curve ball that swoops dramatically down and away from right handed hitters as his secondary pitch and will also feature a change-up, though some evaluators are concerned that he still needs to peel a few miles per hour of the mid-80s pitch to make it effective off of his impressive fastball.
The Red Sox used a 15th-round pick on Carson Fulmer in 2012, but the high school senior already had a baseball scholarship in hand from Vanderbilt, and elected to use it rather than turn pro.
The Red Sox are also rumored to be considering using their first-round pick Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi, but Boston is rumored to favor the power mound arm of Carson Fulmer when it comes down to a final decision.
[Image: Vanderbilt University]