The White Sox drafted right-hander Carson Fulmer of Vanderbilt with the eighth pick in the Major League Draft on Monday night.
It might not be long before you see him in a White Sox uniform.
“Let me put it this way, if somebody could do it in terms of makeup and type of stuff, he’s capable of doing that,” Sox scouting director Doug Laumann said of the possibility of Fulmer getting to the big leagues yet this season.
Fulmer, a 6-foot, 195 pounds junior from Lakeland, Fla., is 13-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 114 innings at Vanderbilt. The Red Sox drafted him in the 48th round in 2012. As a sophomore last year, Fulmer helped pitch Vandy to a national championship with a 1.98ERA in 91 innings.
With a fastball that has touched the upper 90s and superb curveball, some scouts see Fulmer, 21, as a closer. He is also developing a changeup, and the Sox seem to view him as starter whose path to the majors would come through the bullpen in similar fashion to first-round picks Chris Sale (2010) and Carlos Rodon (2014) .Fulmer said on his MLB Network interview after he was chosen that he’d prefer to start but will do “whatever is best for the organization.”
Here is Fulmer’s reaction to being picked by the Sox, via audra.martin on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram Carson Fulmer’s reaction to being drafted 8th overall by the Chicago White Sox. #vandy #mlbdraft A post shared by Audra Martin (@audra.martin) on Jun 8, 2015 at 5:01pm PDT
Fulmer is believed to be closer to major-league ready than most first-round picks, which would follow him in line with Sale, 13th overall in 2010, and Rodon. Both lefties fast-tracked to the majors.
The Sox anticipated being in position to draft Fulmer, Laumann said.
“It was pretty much like we expected,” said Laumann, talking to reporters in the press box at U.S Cellular Field. “Without going into particulars and names, we needed maybe one thing good to happen for us to get him to us, and it happened. There was a tense moment or two for us along the way thinking that maybe it wouldn’t happen, but it did. You’re faced with you only can pick who’s there, but at the same time, this was certainly a guy we had targeted for a long time and he was the guy we wanted to get.”
Fulmer is one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award as College Baseball’s top player.
“He’s a guy for me that you want in between the lines,” assistant scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “He battles, competes. He’s also a guy off the field, I have two daughters, and I hope a guy like that marries one of my daughters. Just a terrific kid.
Hostetler recalled an interview with Fulmer in August.
“He just answered all your questions, straight to the point, competitor. He wanted to prove that he was the best pitcher in this class and I think he did that,” Hostetler said.
Here’s Sox scouting director Doug Laumann on Fulmer:
Fullmer and Vanderbilt will return to the College World Series by virtue of their 4-2 win at Illinois in the Super-Regional Monday in Champaign.
Vanderbilt’s Philip Pfeifer out-pitched Illinois lefty Tyler Jay of Lemont, who was drafted sixth by the Minnesota Twins.
The Sox do not draft in the second or third rounds, having lost those picks as compensation for signing free agents David Robertson and Melky Cabrera. The draft resumes with the third round on Tuesday.