Fulmer’s primary offspeed pitch is his changeup that he utilizes just 15% of the time. Fulmer improved his command of the pitch throwing it in the zone nearly 20% more often in 2019 while generating a SwStr% of 15.1%, up one percent from 2018.
While thrown just 48 times in 2019, the curveball is developing into a putaway pitch for Fulmer. Small sample size is at play here but Fulmer punched out an impressive 57% of batters with the curveball in 2019. With a 19.1% SwStr rate and an above-average chase rate, Fulmer could prove to benefit from throwing this pitch more often in 2020.
The four-seam fastball is still Fulmer’s primary offering but he dropped its usage by 11% in 2019 and for good reason. On just 241 thrown, the fastball earned a pitch value of -4.8 with an incredibly poor 209 wRC+ against. With a SwStr% of just 4.2% and a zone rate below 50%, Fulmer’s fastball usage has little to no value.
In a positive pitch mix change for Fulmer, he started throwing his cutter 11% more often in 2019. While it’s not an elite pitch, it induced weak contact over 77% of the time while generating a SwStr% of 16.2%. With a 45.2% zone rate, Fulmer should continue increasing his cutter usage in place of his four-seamer.
Fulmer’s four-seamer sat around 93 mph but carried terrible results in ’18. It fell to a putrid 2.5% swinging-strike rate, and not many batters chased it outside the zone at just 17.1%. On top of that, he couldn’t command it (21 BB%), opponents tagged it for a .267 ISO, and it was hung with a -3.5 pVal.
His cutter changed its shape by adding both bend and drop last year, but batters chased it outside the zone less—and he threw it in the zone less. Opponents handed it a .314 ISO over 145 offerings and stuck a -5.0 pVal on it.
Though it lost a little bit of action, Fulmer’s changeup still carried well-above-average horizontal movement and featured more drop. Still, it carried subpar swinging-strike and chase rates for a changeup and just didn’t get the job done in ’18 at a -4.4 pVal.
Fulmer only threw 50 curves last year, and while he added some bend and drop to it, the hook carried just an 8.0% swinging-strike rate and a 19.4% outside-the-zone chase rate—both poor for a breaking ball. Considering its ineffectiveness, it’s probably a good thing he didn’t come around the zone more often than 28% percent of the time.