The prospect call ups don't stop here, as Chris Iott of the MLive.com reported that Tigers' pitching prospect Michael Fulmer will be called up to start on Friday against the Twins. Fulmer was due to pitch on Thursday, but will be taking the spot of Shane Greene in the rotation. Here is what I had to say about Fulmer when we ranked him as our top prospect in the Tigers' system this offseason:
Acquired from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes trade, Fulmer is our top prospect following the graduation of Daniel Norris. Fulmer spent the year with both organizations' AA affiliates primarily, throwing 117 innings between the two and striking out 116 against 30 walks. He was healthy for a full season for the first time in his professional career, allowing him to increase his innings total by almost 30. Fulmer is a relatively safe starting pitching prospect who can be a #3/#4 fantasy starting pitcher, providing solid strikeout totals along with good ratios. Fulmer should head to AAA next season, and could be in line for a call-up by the end of the 2016 season.
UPDATE: Ghoji Blackburn also took a look at Fulmer earlier in the week:
With his 6'3, 200 lb frame, he should not have a problem of wearing down over a long season and can definitely project as a #2-3 starter in the Tigers rotation. Like Carson, Michael's best pitch is his 98 MPH fastball. According to scouting reports, he can run his fastball in to the glove side with outstanding skill. However, moving away from hitters and using his fastball on his arm side he tends to leave the ball over the middle too much and can get beat by left handed hitters. This is a common trend with developing control as one can see with Carson as well. With development of that control, this can be an amazing plus-plus pitch that allows Fulmer to control the mound as well as the plate.
Michael Fulmer's 90 MPH slider makes him a great pitcher to watch. He uses this pitch as an out pitch as well as a chase pitch when he is ahead in the count. Numerous scouting reports grade this pitch lower than his fastball, but the fact that he can control this pitch much better than his fastball gives him a tremendous edge against hitters. He can run it away from right handed hitters and he can jam up left handed hitters with ease. It is a devastating pitch to see as it almost seems to pick up velocity at the plate.
His 84-86 MPH changeup is a bit more advanced than Carson's at this point, but he is still developing the feel for it to be used in high stress situations. Baseball Prospectus grades this pitch at 45-50. If he can develop this pitch to have a floor of 50, then he should have no problem becoming a #2 pitcher for Detroit. If this pitch isn't developed, he will have a ceiling of a #3 starter and won't be able to last as deep in games with his power fastball being thrown for 6 innings.
Fulmer has made three starts at AAA so far this year, with a 4.11 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 15 innings. His ERA is inflated from his last start, where he gave up six earned runs on three home runs against Columbus on Friday.
Fulmer will make at least two starts with Greene hitting the disabled list, but at this point it's not clear that he would remain in the rotation once Greene returns. With Daniel Norris expected to return soon as well, Fulmer seems likely to head back to Toledo. He's worth a pickup at least for his first start, where he'll face the offensively struggling Minnesota Twins, and can potentially provide top 100 SP production as long as he is in the majors. There's not as much upside as other callups Jose Berrios and Sean Manaea this week, but if you're looking for a solid streamer, Fulmer can be that.