Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft is less than a month away (June 8-10). The Cubs have the ninth pick in the first round of this year’s draft. A lot of time will be spent over the next month profiling the players the Cubs are being connected to and could possibly select in the first round.
This is the fourth draft with Jason McLeod calling the shots for the Cubs. And in each of the previous three drafts, many of the experts thought Cubs would take a pitcher with the first pick.
The Cubs decided to focus on impact bats with the first round pick and selected OF Albert Almora, 3B Kris Bryant and C/OF Kyle Schwarber before focusing heavily on building the pitching inventory in the system.
John Manuel released the first mock draft of the spring on Baseball America. And with the ninth pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, according to Baseball America the Cubs will select RHP Carson Fulmer from Vanderbilt University.
If SS Alex Bregman is off the board by the time the Cubs are on the clock, John Manuel thinks the Cubs will select a pitcher in the first round this year. RHP Carson Fulmer is the pitcher Manuel sees the Cubs taking due to the lack of impact bats available this year.
Carson Fulmer is 21 years old (Dec. 13, 1993), 6-foot, 195 pounds and has electrifying stuff. Fulmer’s fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range and has touched the high 90s on the gun.
He also features a swing-and-miss curveball, “a power curve with very hard spin that buries down in the zone” that sits in the low- to mid-80s. Fulmer throws a change-up that is “nowhere near the level of his fastball and curve.”
Scouting Grades from ESPN
• Fastball: 65 (Present) – 65 (Future)
• Command: 40 (Present) – 50 (Future)
• Control: 40 (Present) – 50 (Future)
• Curveball: 50 (Present) – 60 (Future)
• Changeup: 45 (Present) – 55 (Future)
There are concerns about his future role. Some think he might fit better in the back of a rotation, possibly as a shut down closer, due to his “high-effort delivery.” And some think he has the potential to pitch toward the top of a big league rotation, possibly as high as a No. 2 on a winning team.
Fulmer has been compared to Vanderbilt alum, RHP Sonny Gray. With his stuff, most feel the team that drafts him should view him as a starter with the worse-case possibility that he closes meaningful games in the big leagues.
Carson Fulmer is 10-1 in 13 starts for Vanderbilt this season. In 86 2/3 innings, Fulmer has allowed 59 hits with 33 walks and 118 strikeouts (1.56 ERA, 1.06 WHIP).
Carson Fulmer is a high energy, ultra-competitive pitcher that wears his emotions on his sleeve. Aaron Fitt recently called him “the best big-game pitcher in the country.”