White Sox 2015 first round pick struggled in first taste of MLB. Can Carson Fulmer realize his potential next season for the South Siders?
The Chicago White Sox promoted its 2015 first round pick Carson Fulmer to the major leagues this past season after a brief stint in the minors. Although Fulmer had a nice end to the first half in his first season with Double A Birmingham Barons, he struggled in his first MLB stint.
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Fulmer finished his first season in MLB with an 0-2 record and 8.49 ERA before being demoted to Triple A Charlotte Knights on August 17. Fulmer’s inability to throw consistent strikes hurt the right-handed pitcher, but he did finish his 2016 season strongly with the Knights. With the White Sox in the midst of a rebuild, can Fulmer realize his potential and become a solid starter next season?
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper believes Fulmer was trying to do to much in his first MLB stint according to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com. In 11.2 innings pitched, Fulmer recorded 10 strikeouts and seven walks. The right-handed pitcher gave up four earned runs in a relief appearance against the Cubs on July 27 as he couldn’t record more than one out.
"“He was trying way, way too hard, even in the Minor Leagues, to try to justify being a No. 1 pick. Whatever you want to call it, he was overdoing it. In this whole thing, when I think of Carson, more stuff ain’t the answer, pal. Don’t try to throw it harder or make it nastier. Just try to make it solid and consistent.” Don Cooper"
Despite being demoted to the Knights after a brief stint with the White Sox, Fulmer excelled in Charlotte to end his season. He began his time with the Knights poorly as he was unable to last more than one inning and gave up six earned runs in his first start. However, he would give up just one earned run through his final three starts. In his final start of the season, Fulmer pitched six scoreless innings while recording five strikeouts.
The White Sox don’t have to rush Fulmer back to the team for next season. However, if he has a strong spring training, he should most likely start 2017 in Chicago. Fulmer has the potential to be a number three or four starter, but he still has to work on his command on the mound. If Fulmer can realize his potential, the White Sox could have a solid starting rotation in a few seasons.