Jimmy Fuller Scouting Report (2010)
Jimmy Fuller’s long overdue promotion to Port St. Lucie, a scouting report on the left-hander seemed fitting as yet another key performer in the Savannah Sand Gnats first half championship run moves on to bigger and better things. In nineteen starts, the former 21st rounder posted a 1.93 ERA with 99 strikeouts in just over 107 innings pitched. He dominated the Sally, but so do many other older left-handed pitchers. So what makes Fuller different? Unlike other command/control lefties, Fuller attacks like a pitbull on amphetamines. In game action, I’ve watched him go toe-to-toe with Rockies prospect Tyler Matzek without flinching and outings like that can’t help but leave a lasting impression.
Physical Projection: Simply put, Fuller doesn’t have any projection left. However, at 5’10”, 180 pounds, he makes the most of the size he does have. Fuller is unlikely to add any additional velocity, but his average athleticism should allow him to continue to sharpen his control as he continues to work on repeating his delivery. His 3/4 arm slot allows him easy arm whip, but Fuller definitely needs to ramp up the effort in his delivery to work into the 90’s. The arm action, combined with his smaller stature means Fuller works up in the zone which could lead to trouble at higher levels. In the Sally, his working up was not an issue because his delivery also allows him enough deception to sneak most pitches 88 MPH and higher by opposing hitters.
Mound Presence: I wish every player in the Sally played with the same intensity as Jimmy Fuller. On the mound, he has a bit of a Napoleon complex as he attacks the strike zone relentlessly challenging opposing hitters. His guile was unmatched at the level in pitchers I’ve seen and it led to his performance far surpassing his raw stuff. Obviously, this could catch up with him much like his former teammate, Mark Cohoon, who is now struggling in AA, but it’s hard to bet against a pitcher who seemingly only knows how to push forward.
Fastball: Generally in the 87-89 range early in the season, he can work 90-91 in spurts which leads me to believe his fastball would play better out of the pen. To maximize his effectiveness, he will need to work down in the zone more, relying on spotting the pitch on the corners and utilizing his classic lefty arm side run. After speaking to multiple scouts regarding Fuller, there is concern that he will be exposed at higher levels due to lack of plane, or his inability to have his fastball cross the plate at a downward angel from his release point.
Curveball: His weakest offering, the low-70’s pitch has been is effective against younger hitters, but may not remain in his arsenal long term. On the 20-80 scale, it has been called a 30 pitch by scouts which leaves the offering well below average. As for me, the pitches slow, loopy movement is only standing in the way of another breaking pitch I feel has significantly more potential, even though Fuller rarely throws it.
Slider: In the bullpen, Fuller’s slider is his best offering. With sharp two-to-eight movement, I can envision fuller as a lefty specialist attacking hitters with a two-pitch mix of fastballs up and sliders down and away. In game action, he rarely, if ever took the pitch out of his back pocket which was a disappointment.
Changeup: At 78-80 MPH, the pitch flashed average with good arm action and arm side fade. However, he doesn’t always finish his his pitches which makes it difficult at times for him to work the outer half versus left-handed hitters. This isn’t only unique to the changeup as the same problem pops up from time-to-time with the fastball as well when working inside.
While I don’t see Fuller as a future member of a big league rotation, he does have a path to New York in a relief role if things break correctly. This may not excite prospect junkies, but the idea of a former 21st round draft pick breaking through with the Mets is a big deal considering the numerous, now former pitching prospect in the organization who were drafted much higher.
22 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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