Draft profile: Carson Fulmer
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***
Name: Carson Fulmer
School: Vanderbilt (junior)
Rank on Draft Top 200: 3
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 5'11" Weight: 195 lbs.
College commitment: N/A
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Opp. Avg: .187
*Through SEC tournament
Fulmer helped key Vanderbilt's run to its first College World Series title when he moved from closer to starter last April, not allowing a run in his first 29 2/3 innings in his new role. He spent the summer with the U.S. collegiate national team, leading the pitching staff in wins (three), ERA (0.73) and opponent average (.141). Fulmer has an electric arm that delivers 93-97-mph fastballs and power breaking balls. His changeup is an effective third pitch and coaches and scouts alike rave about his competitive makeup. Some scouts think he'd be best off channeling his energy into becoming a closer because he lacks size, his delivery features effort and his control can get wobbly at times. A 15th-round pick by the Red Sox from a Florida high school in 2012, Fulmer would have gone in the top five rounds had he been signable. Now he's one of three Commodores who figure to go early in the first round in 2015, joining Walker Buehler and Dansby Swanson.
MLB comp: Sonny Gray
Fun fact: Fulmer has gotten help from former Commodores and current A's pitcher Sonny Gray, another small right-hander. Before last season, Fulmer was having trouble repeating his delivery until a tip from Gray provided immediate results.
He said it: "It's great being able to ask [Gray] questions and go through his experience of being where I want to be one day. It's obviously nice to communicate with a person who's doing it now, and he's definitely someone I look up to and will continue to communicate with for the rest of my career."
"I want to start. That's something I've definitely wanted to do over the years. I'm starting to feel very comfortable with it. It's something I'm enjoying every time I go out there and something I want to do at the next level. But if there's ever a chance to go to the bullpen in order for our team to win, I'll definitely do that, too."
They said it: "He's a pitching version of Joe Frazier -- he keeps coming at you. He's coming through the hitter. … He's just an elite competitor."
-- Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin
"It's been pretty cool to watch him go from a guy that just comes up throwing cheese to a guy that actually pitches and moves the ball and spins it and does all the things that a starter should do.
-- Vanderbilt pitcher and No. 9 Draft prospect Walker Buehler