GLENDALE, Ariz. – Robin Ventura has had a few days to be around White Sox first-round draft pick Carson Fulmer, and his reaction is pretty much in line with everyone else who knows the right-hander from Vanderbilt.
“He’s a good kid,’’ Ventura said with an emphasis on good. “We know he’s smart. He’s just a good kid who he understands where he’s at and what he’s here to do.
“He’s very talented. He’s very confident, but humble in the right ways.’’
The Sox raved about Fulmer’s makeup after they drafted the right-hander with the eighth overall pick in the June draft. Scouting director Nick Hostetler went on about his good-guy/nasty competitor mix at SoxFest: “I want my daughter to marry off the field but I want him pitching Game 7 of the World Series on the field,’’ Hostetler said.
And then, on the topic of whether Fulmer projects as a starting pitcher or a bullpen arm, more Hostetler: “There are going to be doubters. Everybody doubted whether Chris Sale was going to be a bullpen guy or a starter. It worked out OK for us. I think this one’s going to as well. I will not be the one to ever tell Carson Fulmer he can’t be a starter because he’s liable to punch me in the face. But he might apologize after he does it.”
At White Sox camp, Fulmer was given the same locker and the same spring training number (80) as their 2014 first-round pick, Carlos Rodon. His space is next to veteran lefty Zach Duke.
“This is great. Growing up and seeing all of the guys on TV. It’s a dream come true,’’ he said. “This is definitely special.”
Ventura wants Fulmer to watch, learn from the veterans in big league camp and compete before he returns to the minor leagues for more seasoning after spring training.
“It’s important just to soak everything in,’’ Fulmer said. “You dream about it all of your life, and now it’s here in front of you. I don’t know what to expect. I’ll follow the other guys who have been through it. I’ll try to soak it in and enjoy it as much as I can.’’
As Fulmer threw his second side session Sunday morning, Sox director of player development Nick Capra looked on from his golf cart.
“Great kid, great kid,’’ Capra said. “And he’s the kind of guy who wants the ball every fifth day.”
“Competing is the biggest thing for me,’’ Fulmer said. “Being able to go out when I take the mound and give my team my best but also compete and keep momentum on our side as much as possible. I’m here to be a good teammate and I’m here to help the organization as much as possible.’’