Red Sox draft focus: Carson Fulmer


The Red Sox are picking seventh overall in the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft and, even in a weak crop of potential draftees, that means that Boston will have access to the high-upside picks that simply aren’t available at the end of the first round. And though there may be a fair amount of risk involved, the Red Sox would have a shot at huge upside if the team opts to select Vanderbilt right-hander Carson Fulmer with their first-round pick.

Despite his small frame (he stands at just 5’11” and 195 pounds), Fulmer can bring the heat as well as anyone in this draft class. He fires his fastball consistently in the mid 90’s, bringing a hammer curve and solid-average change to the table as well. His small frame and high-effort delivery have convinced some that Fulmer is destined for the bullpen, but he has the ceiling of a top-of-rotation starter and his floor of a high-leverage reliever would still be a solid return.

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Granted, the primary issue with Fulmer might be lasting until the seventh pick. Already a weak draft class entering the spring, injuries and disappointing performances from potential top picks have decimated the early ranks of the draft. With Fulmer’s dominance at Vanderbilt this season (1.51 ERA, 12.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9) en route to the SEC Player of the Year Award, Baseball America tabbed the Diamondbacks to select Fulmer with the first overall pick.

That mock draft is the first indication that Fulmer would go that early. Others have suggested that he will be selected several picks later, more in the range of Boston’s seventh overall slot. Still, with an absence of quality performances from highly-regarded college pitchers, Fulmer’s success this season is bound to vault him a few picks higher that he otherwise would have gone, which may well push him to be picked before the Red Sox have a chance.

On the chance that Fulmer is available at number seven, though, expect the Red Sox to take a long look at the 21-year old. Even with a handful of decent pitching prospects in the Red Sox organization, they have nobody with the upside of Fulmer. The chance that he will develop into a frontline starter should be enough to override concerns of a potential move to relief and the Red Sox should go for upside if Fulmer has not been selected by the seventh pick.