Fulmer Ready

Fulmer is scheduled to make his first start Tues.

SAVANNAH, GA - Not many 19-year olds could handle the pressure of being a minor league pitcher, but Sand Gnats pitcher Michael Fulmer is more than up for the challenge. He is not even a year out of high school and is already looking to make a big impact on the Sand Gnat's rotation.

Fulmer said that he was a little surprised to be called up to low-A so soon, but that he worked hard in the offseason to make it. He said that it was his goal to move up quickly and that he is ready to get out on the mound and try out his stuff.

"I'm eager to get started and try to win a championship," Fulmer said.

Fulmer has already turned heads in the Mets organization with his maturity, focus, and skill that are far beyond his years.

Sand Gnats pitching coach Frank Viola said that Fulmer was absolutely ready to pitch at the low-A level.

Viola said that Fulmer "pitched very well" in Spring Training and that his pitches, especially his changeup, are developing well.

"He has an above average fastball," Viola said. "He throws a good slider and also has a curveball and a changeup that's coming along really well."

Fulmer's main focuses in Spring Training were developing his changeup and the command of his fastball. Fulmer said that the entire Mets coaching staff helped him develop his pitches better.

"I think almost every Mets pitching coach was at Spring Training and every one of them came up and talked to me. I was just trying to take everything in and make it all click," Fulmer said.

Fulmer recognizes that he has plenty of room for improvement in the upcoming season.

"I'm never satisfied with anything I throw," Fulmer said. "I could strike a guy out with three great pitches and still find something that I could improve."

"He's going to get something out of each night he pitches," Viola said. "He needs to work on his consistency in the strike zone and not trying to strike every guy out, and I think he will be able to thrive right away."

Sand Gnats manager Luis Rojas might be more impressed with Fulmer than anyone else. Rojas called Fulmer a "quick learner," and said that his developing changeup will soon be a big part of his game.

"I got to coach him at the end of last season," Rojas said. "I'm really surprised at the jump he made. He has the right attitude along with the tools to be an ace in the future. I can't wait to see him out on the mound."

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