A-Ball Wednesday: Michael Fulmer’s Improvement Continues….

A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 6, Bradenton Marauders 5

CF Alonzo Harris began the game-winning rally in the bottom of the ninth with a single into left. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch, the game ended on a force-out at second shortstop to enterfield, which is fun. The speedy Harris has taken advantage of Cesar Puello’s lost season to hit .274/.352/.410 in 84 games while playing a lot of centerfield for St. Lucie. He’s earned a shot at Binghamton next year. Puello, by the way, was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring Wednesday.

3B Aderlin Rodriguez homered off Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, his first homer in 13 games with St. Lucie. Rodriguez took Taillon deep a year ago, when Taillon was with West Virginia and Rodriguez was a Sand Gnat. The 20-year old has hit in three straight after a slow start in the FSL and is now up to 17 homers, matching his total from a year ago.

After a pair of short outings, and a season where he’s struggle to throw strikes, Chase Huchingson lost his rotation spot to Kyle Allen, who lasted five innings.

 


A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 6, Kannapolis Intimidators 2 

RHP Michael Fulmer struck out eight, tying a season high, while throwing five shutout innings. As was the case on Tuesday with Jacob deGrom, the Intimidators really just couldn’t do much against his fastball. He struck out eight, tying a season high. Two of the three hits Fulmer allowed did not leave the infield. (One a-ballish moment, on a bunt with a runner at first, 1B Cole Frenzel got lost following the runner towards second and no one was covering first. No, I can’t explain it.) Fulmer’s 2.51 ERA now leads the SAL.

The 19-year old Fulmer has come a long way this year. Here is his ERA by month:

April – 4.08
May – 3.00
June – 2.22
July –  1.17

After a strikeout rate of 20% in the first half, he’s up to 27%. In the first half, he had a 2.3 K/BB ratio, in the second half, it’s an even 3.0.

His fastball is a plus offering. He can now throw it to both sides of the plate. He got a few swings and misses on his slider, which had good bite Wednesday. He does need to find a way to finish off batters more quickly as after reaching two strikes, there were a number of at-bats where hitters were able to waste a few fastballs driving up his pitch count. At 90 pitches, he was pulled after five innings.

After two hits, two RBI, and two HBP, 23yo 3B/LF Dustin Lawley is up to .462/.533/.923 in his last 10 games and .281/.360/.474 overall in 96 games.  He’s figured out the SAL.

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