Earlier this year, members of the White Sox front office met with various area scouts to begin discussing who the organization could take with the No. 8 pick in the June MLB Draft. When Carson Fulmer’s name came up, one of the scouts felt he had to remove himself from the discussion less he’d sound biased toward the then-Vanderbilt right-hander’s makeup beyond his baseball skills.
“One of them started talking about Fulmer,” Hahn explained, “and he goes, 'You know what, maybe I shouldn't talk about this guy because I want to evaluate him on strictly on the ability and talk to you in terms of what kind of baseball player he is. But I've know this kid since he was a freshman in high school and I'm so biased by how good of a person he is and how great his character is, and I'm worried that is going to make me over sell it. This guy is great, that's all I'm saying.’”
Upon signing with the White Sox for a bonus of $3,470,600 on Friday, Fulmer quickly proved that scout’s report to be accurate and not hyperbole.
Fulmer donated $10,000 of that slot-value signing bonus to the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program, an arm of Chicago White Sox Charities that provides resources for inner city youths to play baseball. One of Fulmer’s teammates at Vanderbilt — outfielder Ro Coleman — is a product of the ACE program, as is White Sox seventh-round draft pick Blake Hickman.
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“I definitely wanted to give back somehow,” Fulmer said. “Coming into an organization that believes in the ACE program, really sticks with it, that was definitely a group I wanted to donate to and give back, especially with the organization behind it all.
“It was just a special opportunity for me to give back, especially with the organization I’m a part of now and to help kids that are going through tough situations or just need a little extra help moving forward.”
Fulmer been in Chicago since Wednesday and has quickly acquainted himself with the city. After throwing out the first pitch before Friday night’s game at U.S. Cellular Field, he’ll head back to his hometown of Lakeland, Fla. — where White Sox ace Chris Sale is from, too — for a mandated rest period before beginning work again in Arizona.
The White Sox expect Fulmer to return to Chicago at some point — he could be fast-tracked to the majors if all goes well — and if he does get back here, Hahn thinks he’ll bring a strong presence to the clubhouse. His donation to the ACE program helped convince Hahn and the organization of it.
“That was 100 percent on his own, he brought up the idea,” Hahn said. “He came up with the idea, he researched it, he said why don't I do this. ... He is a class individual, we're looking to have him for his ability and for his role as a potential leader for this club.”