White Sox

Is Carson Fulmer a White Sox star in the making?

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Is Carson Fulmer a White Sox star in the making?

NASHVILLE — Guts, will, heart, nerve, grit, courage, desire. 

For some athletes, these are just words. For Carson Fulmer, they are traits embedded in his DNA, chromosomes that helped make him one of the top college pitchers in baseball.  

And later this season, you could be seeing this moxie on full display with the White Sox.

A fiery right-hander with the mettle of a tank, Fulmer guided Vanderbilt to a national title in 2014 and led them back to the College World Series championship in 2015 before losing to Virginia. Rick Hahn and company were ecstatic when he fell to them with the 8th pick of the first round of the MLB draft last June.

[RELATED - Rick Hahn on White Sox third base: 'We're working on it']

For a White Sox fanbase that loves players who take the field with steam coming out of their ears, Fulmer is straight out of central casting.

“He’s the strongest-willed kid we’ve had come through,” said Tim Corbin, Fulmer’s head coach at Vanderbilt. High praise considering Corbin has also coached All-Star pitchers David Price and Sonny Gray. “He’s the nicest, meanest kid I’ve ever seen from the standpoint of getting on the mound and competing on a level and not taking a backseat to any situation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid go through his career quite like him and he did that his freshman year and up to his junior year and didn’t skip a beat. He was highly, highly competitive his freshman year, which is very unique to see.”

The White Sox love Fulmer's makeup as well as his arm. His fastball can touch the upper 90’s, he has a tremendous curveball and has been working on a changeup.

Standing 6-feet tall, he’s short for a major league pitcher, but what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for with nerve and relentlessness.

“To me, it was like Joe Frazier. He’d just keep coming and keep throwing punches,” Corbin said about Fulmer. “He might get hit, but he’s trying to go through you. He’s not trying to dance around you. He’s Jim Brown in a Cleveland Browns uniform and Joe Frazier with the gloves. He’s coming right for your chin and he’s trying to knock you out.  He’s not trying to screw around. From that standpoint, I’ve seen few guys like that.”

For three seasons, Corbin witnessed this competitive streak that rages inside Fulmer.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

One of the best examples came when Corbin went to pull him in the sixth inning of the deciding game of the 2014 national championship series.  

Fulmer had given up one earned run over 5.1 innings, but Corbin wanted to bring in a reliever.

“I ask for the ball and he turns his back on me,” Corbin recalled. “I said, 'Carson you’ve got to give me the ball. I’m bringing in Hayden Stone.'”

Fulmer shook his head no.

“I said, 'Carson, he’s running out to the field right now, I need the ball.'  He says, ‘I’m not giving you the ball.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can give it to Haden.,”  

So Fulmer took the ball and reluctantly handed it over to his teammate.

When Corbin returned to the dugout, he couldn’t find Fulmer anywhere. Moments later, the Vandy coach went to use the bathroom, but was stopped by a police officer.

“What’s the matter?” Corbin asked.

“You can’t go in the bathroom right now,” said the police officer.

“Why not?”

The officer looked at Corbin and said all he needed to know:

“The person you just pulled out of the game is in there and if you go in there, he’ll kick your butt.”

The White Sox aren't sure yet if Fulmer will be a major league starter or reliever, but whenever he takes the mound in the big leagues, there's one thing they already do know:

He's a fighter.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: 

 

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

White Sox catching prospect Zack Collins is being talked about in some elite company after a recent accomplishment.

Collins participated in the Southern League Home Run Derby in Double-A earlier this evening for the Birmingham Barons, and he secured his first career home run derby win.

Now, this is cool, thanks to NBC Sports Chicago’s stats guru Chris Kamka: Dating way back to 1895, Babe Ruth was born on Feb. 6, 1895. Collins was born on the same day as Ruth, but 100 years later.

It’s still way too early to make any sort of comparisons, but it’s a fun way to connect the two.

Collins so far this season is hitting .267 with 9 HR, 33 RBI’s and 59 BB in 62 games. Those walks lead the Southern League. The next highest is 39.

Collins is hitting much better than he did when he was with Single-A Winston-Salem last season. Collins hit a mere .233 in 101 games.

Think about this too. Rick Hahn mentioned several White Sox prospects will get promotions in the coming days. Could this mean Collins will get his opportunity? We’ll just have to wait and see.