Marlins prospect Dax Fulton showcased why he was considered the top prep lefty in the 2020 MLB Draft in Low-A Jupiter's 2-1 loss to Tampa to open a doubleheader at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday.
Ranked eighth in Miami's system, Fulton struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked none across a career-high-tying five scoreless innings of one-hit ball. He opened his 61-pitch outing by fanning MLB Pipeline's No. 23 overall prospect Jasson Dominguez on five pitches. The 19-year-old Fulton reached a maximum velocity of 95.9 mph on his four-seamer, which he turned to for four of his strikeouts. Fulton also recorded three strikeouts apiece with his curveball and power changeup.
"Everything’s working for me," Fulton said. "I felt like I had all three pitches that I was able to throw for a strike in any given count. My fastball was working. I was using it to get ahead, and then my curveball I was putting away hitters with, and my changeup I was actually able to execute in good counts as well. So really all three of them kind of kept them on their toes, and I think it worked out for me."
Wednesday marked the 14th appearance (13th start) of Fulton's professional career, surrendering one earned run or fewer in eight of them. He entered with a 5.18 ERA, a 1.603 WHIP, 48 strikeouts and 30 walks in 48 2/3 innings.
“I think the Marlins have done a very good job of monitoring my innings and making sure that I'm healthy every time I go out there, making sure I feel 100% when I go out there, and they're doing a good job of limiting my innings,” Fulton said. “I haven't thrown the greatest or haven't thrown as well as I've wanted to this entire year, but I said before that my main goal this year is to get through the season healthy and get all the innings in that I needed to, and so far I've been able to achieve that. Hopefully now I can get more good innings like this outing.”
The 6-foot-7, 225-pounder, whom the Marlins selected in the second round of last year's Draft, is coming off Tommy John surgery in September 2019 that made him miss his senior season at Mustang High School in Oklahoma. After joining the organization, Fulton spent time at the alternate training site and instructional league.
"My arm's actually been doing really well," Fulton said. "I didn't know how it would be first year in pro baseball and throwing as much as we do, because I've never thrown this much. But honestly, I feel like I'm finally hitting my stride. I feel like I'm finally getting comfortable and I'm able to repeat my delivery. I feel really good. My shoulder feels fine. My elbow feels great, and I feel overall very good."