Top prospect Fulmer eager to integrate cutter

Top prospect Fulmer eager to integrate cutter

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Fulmer, the White Sox top-ranked prospect per MLBPipeline.com, recently added a cutter to his fastball/curve/change repertoire, a pitch that he already feels good about after just one week of work.

"Oh, it's been night and day. I've never been able to throw it -- or never had the chance to throw it," said Fulmer of his new pitch. "I just learned it, but it's a pitch I've been throwing a lot now. Being able to throw it early in the count, but harder, down and away to guys or down and in to guys when I'm ahead.

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"It's a pitch I'm still learning," added Fulmer with a smile. "But I feel really comfortable with it. Add it to the arsenal."

Fulmer primarily featured a fastball/curve combination while finding success at Vanderbilt, working in the change every so often. Refining that changeup has been another Spring Training project for the right-hander, with pitching coach Don Cooper talking about Fulmer throwing the pitch with a new grip -- similar to Chris Sale's approach during the formative stage of his career, as well as Carlos Rodon's continued focus.

But adding in the cutter seems to have added to Fulmer's Spring Training excitement.

"I threw a ton of fastballs, and it's a pitch that resembles a fastball in a lot of different ways," Fulmer said. "But you get movement and a lot of quick outs from it. I definitely trust it now.

"I'm going to grow with that pitch. It's a pitch I'll utilize a lot. Continue to fine-tune those things and hopefully it will help me along the way."

John Danks, who added the same pitch when he was traded from the Rangers to the White Sox before the 2007 season, refers to Cooper as the "Cutter Guru." Danks points to his best two- or three-year career run when his cutter was at its best, but sees a greater opportunity for Fulmer with the pitch.

"He has A+ stuff anyway," Danks said. "He throws a pitch like that in there, even if it's average or a little better, and couple that with everything else he has, that's going to make him dominant."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.