I am not a scout… BUT
No, for real, I’m not a scout. When I was on the beat, a scout-y eye was always one of my weaknesses. I worked over the years to refine it, but I do want to preface this by saying I’m not a trained scout.
With that said, I obviously watch a lot of baseball, and I watch a lot of college baseball. And I watched a pitcher tonight who MLB Pipeline has projected to go in the top half of the first round this June: Carson Fulmer, right-hander from Vanderbilt. So I figured I’d offer up a few observations, just from the FWIW category.
1. No doubt the kid has a big arm. Consistently hit 95 on the stadium gun, and hit 96 in his last inning.
2. But he had real trouble locating that fastball. Left quite a few of them up, and UGa punished him for it. One homer, some very hard-hit base hits and some very loud outs.
3. Oh, but that curveball. He threw it in the zone, threw it for a chase pitch; Georgia hitters were overmatched by it. 82-84 mph on the stadium gun, almost looks like a slider, and it’s a pretty pitch.
4. I may have just missed it, but I saw almost none of any other pitch. Reports indicate that he has a changeup, but I think I saw one all night.
5. Before I read up on him, my quick-and-dirty take was that he looked like a reliever to me. Power fastball, impressive breaking ball, shaky location, no third pitch (THAT I SAW), and a high-effort delivery.
6. With that said, that’s obviously not all he has. Like I said, I have read that he does have a promising changeup, and obviously his location is usually better than it was. Those two pitches, with a third and with better location? Yeah, that’s a starter. And the performance this year… 67 Ks in 48 innings against the schedule they’ve played is no joke. Big league scouts know more about this stuff than I do, and if clubs are thinking about him in the 10-15 overall range, then they’re almost certainly thinking of him as a starter.
So, anyway, take it for what it’s worth, but it was a fun opportunity to watch a guy up close who’s going to be talked about a lot in a couple of months. I also saw SS Dansby Swanson, who’s also projected to be a high first-rounder, but since I’ll be seeing VU again tomorrow, I’ll wait and see him a second time before posting anything.