Earlier today, I had the opportunity to speak with Mets prospect Michael Fulmer (@MFulmer12 on Twitter). Drafted in the second round (44th overall) by the Mets in 2011 out of Deer Creek High School in Oklahoma, Fulmer was tremendous for Savannah in A ball last year. A right-handed starting pitcher, Fulmer’s best pitch is his fastball, which ordinarily sits between 93 and 95 MPH. He also has a developing changeup. His slider is currently his 3rd pitch, and he’s been working on improving his curve.
Toby Hyde of Mets Minor League Blog ranked the soon to be 20 year old Fulmer as the Mets’ 11th best prospect after the 2012 season concluded, and feels Fulmer can be a top 5 prospect in the organization after the 2013 season concludes. Onto the interview:
Danny Abriano, Rising Apple – You had a great season for Savannah last year. Have the Mets told you where you’ll be opening the season this year?
Michael Fulmer – They haven’t said anything yet. My goal is to start with the High-A team in PSL [Port St. Lucie].
D.A. - How’s your feel for your slider and changeup? Did you tinker with anything during the offseason?
M.F. – My changeup has come a very long way. Last year I basically threw that in place of my curveball. And it got better and better each game. I’m excited to see what the coaches have to say about it because I know it’s a pitch I’ll need, and I’ve worked hard on it.
D.A. – Great to hear. Do you view your slider or curve as your third pitch at the moment?
M.F. – At the moment the slider. But I like to throw that curve later in the game or [for] an early in the count strike.
M.F. – They are all great pitchers and great guys. Montero is not human with his command and ability to throw all three pitches at any time. Tapia has the purest arm strength I’ve ever seen and can command the zone. Leathersich is the strikeout king. I feel no matter what he throws the hitter swings and misses. All three guys are great off the field, and will be big leaguers no doubt.
D.A. – Speaking of the big leagues…you were born in Oklahoma. Who did you root for growing up, and which major league pitchers did you look up to?
M.F. – I was actually born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. I moved to Oklahoma in 2005. But I was a big Curt Schilling fan. So I was a fan of the Diamondbacks and Red Sox a little bit. But I mainly just followed him.
D.A. – Would you say you have a bit of Schilling’s bulldog mentality on the mound?
M.F. – I wouldn’t say I’m as nice on the field as I am off the field (laughs).
D.A. – Reports have your fastball sitting between 93 and 95 MPH. Is that fairly accurate? Can you reach back for more if necessary?
M.F. – That’s accurate. I’ve learned to tone it down a little so I can reach back and get more on it later in the game.
D.A. – Unlike lots of Mets draftees, you skipped over short season ball with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Have you been to New York since you signed in 2011?
M.F. – I’ve been twice. Once was for a few hours in 2011. I had to go up and get an MRI after I got drafted to make sure nothing was wrong. And I was up there for the Sterling Award, which was an amazing experience. I would love to go up there again.
D.A. – Theoretically speaking…you’re called up to the Mets in the near future. You’re standing on the mound in front of 42,000 fans. What do you expect to be going through your mind at that moment?
M.F. – Nothing changes. I’ll be enjoying myself because I’m living a dream. All it is out there is me and the batter. I still gotta do my job.
D.A. – Mets fans are all hoping that dream comes true for you. Thanks so much for speaking with us. Best of luck this season and beyond.
M.F. – I appreciate it Danny. Thank you for all the support.
…Rising Apple would like to thank Michael again for speaking with us. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @MFulmer12…