Back in mid-May, general manager, Al Avila compared young Michael Fulmer to an already established veteran for the Tigers and to one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, Justin Verlander, when Aliva said “He reminds me a lot of Verlander when we first got him up here.”
He would elaborate more on that comparison.
“Great stuff. Sometimes in those early starts (2005), Justin would struggle getting through five innings, but within a couple of years you had one of the great pitchers in all of baseball.”
In his last five starts, Fulmer has lasted at least six innings, while racking up 27 strikeouts and walking seven. The stat that really stands out is the fact that he has now gone 22.1 innings without surrendering a run, which happens to be a Detroit Tigers’ rookie record.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 7, 2016
The key has been trusting his ability to throw his change-up well, according to Fulmer himself.
“I’m just trusting it more and gripping it and throwing it and trying to make it look like my fastball as much as I can, so it’s been a good pitch for me, and hopefully I have continued success with it.”
It has been a great pitch for him, no doubt. He’s got the ability to get into the high 90’s with his fastball, and you add in the change-up to that and it gives Fulmer a great advantage against opposing hitters by being able to keep them off-balance.
Michael Fulmer moved to 6-1 on the season after he picked up the win Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. he dropped his ERA down to 2.83 and his WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) currently stands at 1.13 after Monday’s start.
If Fulmer continues to produce the numbers that he’s put up over this impressive stretch (knock on wood), there isn’t any question that he needs to be in the conversation of the American League Rookie of the Year for 2016. His competition from the offensive side of things sees the likes of Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers, Joey Rickard from the Baltimore Orioles and Byung Ho Park from the Minnesota Twins, even given the Twins’ struggles this season. From the pitching side of things, Mychal Givens from the Orioles, Ryan Dull from the Oakland Athletics, and you could even throw in Chris Devenski from the Houston Astros as well.
Let’s hope the talented 23-year old right-hander keeps adding to the great run he is on and keeps his name inserted into the AL Rookie of the Year conversation until season’s end. The award hasn’t went to a Tiger since Justin Verlander did it back in 2006.