Fulmer determined to make big league impact

Top prospect to start season at Double-A Birmingham

Fulmer determined to make big league impact

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Fulmer possessed a straightforward focus during his first big league Spring Training: listen and learn.

Call it mission accomplished for MLBPipeline.com's top-rated White Sox prospect and No. 38 on the Top 100. But the right-hander also left a lasting impression of a high-energy 22-year-old who could help the team sooner than later.

"As a young player coming into an organization, I want to make an impact," said Fulmer before being reassigned to Minor League camp after his Saturday night start against the Dodgers. "You want people to know how serious you are about the game. You want to win. That's very important.

"I tried to gather up as much information as possible, but then again, I want to compete, and it's been a dream of mine to play in the big leagues. I'm here with a great organization, around guys who have a ton of knowledge. Hopefully soon I'll have the opportunity to make an impact at that level."

Fulmer, the No. 8 pick in the 2015 Draft, doesn't stand alone in terms of prospects who could immediately help the White Sox.

Matt Davidson showed resurgence with the bat. Jason Coats has been a consistent run producer, and Jacob May, as of this moment, would be an asset with his outfield defense and speed.

Then, there's Tim Anderson, the team's shortstop of the future who is not far away from making his Major League debut. But the White Sox have never been shy about pushing pitchers when deemed ready, as the past cases of Chris Sale, Carlos Rodon and even going back to Mark Buehrle show.

Double-A Birmingham stands as Fulmer's next 2016 stop. He'll continue refining the cutter introduced by pitching coach Don Cooper to his repertoire, not to mention a changeup featuring a new grip that he didn't use frequently as part of his success achieved at Vanderbilt.

Family members, including Fulmer's fiancée, got to watch him over the past six weeks, making the experience even more memorable. Of course, the memories would grow exponentially upon his Major League callup.

"He has not disappointed both in terms of performance on the field as well as how he has carried himself in the clubhouse and on the practice field," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "He has been great, outstanding, made the most of the opportunity presented to him. He's in a good position to head on out of here and start his season on the right foot."

"Baseball is a challenge, but the most important thing is being comfortable, getting on the mound, facing this caliber of competition and knowing that your stuff works at this level," Fulmer said. "It has been great."

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.