When the Chicago White Sox drafted Carson Fulmer eighth overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, he was an unconventional, max-delivery pitcher who was as competitive as they came. That’s what earned him the high draft spot in the first place.
By the time he reached the majors less than a year later, there were already some differences. After some time with the big league club, his mechanics were almost unrecognizable a few years later.
What led to those changes? As Fulmer explained to our Duke Coughlin, Jordan Lazowski, and Nik Gaur: it was the White Sox’ decision early on in his time with the organization – almost immediately after signing with the club.
“That’s just what worked best for me. That’s how I was efficient. That’s how I got down the mound. That’s how I generated power… It wasn’t a very traditional, Greg Maddux-type delivery. So that was one thing that I don’t think that me and the organization really saw eye to eye from, right? They saw that max delivery and they’re like, ‘Man, I don’t know if this is gonna this is gonna really meet up with our expectations.’ Let alone if you kind of look at the research, like that’s how I move the best, right? That’s how I stay healthy. That’s how I take a lot of stress off my arm is moving that fast.”– Carson Fulmer on his mechanics before joining the White Sox (via Sox On 35th Podcast)
Fulmer, if you couldn’t tell, certainly didn’t agree with the decision made by then-pitching coach Don Cooper and his staff. However, as a new rookie simply looking to compete and make an impact, he chose to listen.
“So there was a bunch of… we were butting heads, you know, I was pissed. I didn’t want to change. I didn’t want to do that. But at the end of the day, it was like, ‘Do I buy into this new system? Do I buy into what Coop’s saying? Do I want to create a good relationship with these guys so I can move through the system? Yes. So, I got to buy into this system. I got to change. I got to do what they want me to do.’ And that’s when it kind of went south for me a little bit. But hey, it was my decision, right? I was the one that did it and I’m still fighting it today.”– Carson Fulmer on his mindset as he was undergoing changes to his mechanics (via Sox On 35th Podcast)
One thing that was common throughout Fulmer’s interview: he never placed blame on someone else for his struggles. He explained situations and gave his thoughts on where he thought things could’ve gone better, but overall always accepted that these were his decisions and took accountability. It’s that mindset that leaves him incredibly easy to root for as he tries to work his way back into the major leagues again this season. But, you can’t help but wonder “what if” when it comes to a hard-working talent such as Fulmer.
You can hear this and more from Fulmer on the latest episode of the Sox On 35th Podcast, including conversations about whether or not Fulmer felt he was rushed to the big leagues, striking out Albert Pujols in his big league debut, and what he’s working on for 2024.
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