Some Tiger fans were very excited to see the Tigers top prospect (Sons of 84 #68th ranked prospect in this year’s Top 100 list), make his debut on Friday night. As fans, we really couldn’t expect a much better outcome as Michael Fulmer battled in Minnesota a team that sat in last place, but with an above .500 record at home before Friday.
Fumler battled for 5 innings allowing 2 earned runs (1 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th), spreading out 7 hits, but more importantly, only walking 1, striking out 4, and getting his first career win. We saw a mix of an electric fastball with late movement, a power slider with sharp break, and a change-up to mix things up. Obliviously the curve is a work in progress, as Fulmer didn’t throw it once on Friday.
Of the 93 pitches thrown by Fulmer, 61 were for strikes (61% first strikes) and the overall mix was 45% two-seam fastballs (95 mph avg), 27% sliders (88 mph), 20% 2-seam fastballs (96 mph), 8% changeups (86 mph).
With 19 balls put in play, 28% were line drives, 56% were ground balls, and 16% were fly balls. The 7 hits are a bit concerning, but given that Fulmer was squeezed on a few strike calls, he limited his walks, and had a high ground ball rate, I think we can expect to see the .310 average against fall as he earns his stripes (pun intended) in the Majors. The question is…will he stay?
Here’s a breakdown of location of his pitches on Friday. Obviously needs to stay out of the middle and worked the edges more