JIM FULLER, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: June 1, 1987
Drafted: 21st round, 644th overall, 2008 (Mets)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
College: Southern Connecticut State University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Fuller is a small lefty who, when drafted, threw in the upper-80s to low-90s, with the standard three secondary pitches. He made a lot of progress in his first full pro season, with his fastball reaching 94 regularly, but a shoulder injury cost him the 2011 season. He’s had ups and downs since then, although his velocity supposedly has gotten back to the low-90s at least some of the time. He was a starter before the injury, but has pitched strictly in relief since 2012. He’s not a groundball pitcher, but has allowed only 17 HRs in 407 career innings. He’s had moderate platoon splits and could serve as a lefty specialist. The Pirates signed Fuller to a minor league deal for 2016 and invited him to major league spring training.
Fuller pitched very well in his debut in the New York-Penn League, all in relief except for one start. He missed the month of July, so he saw only limited action.
A-: 3-6-0, 2.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 63.0 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 9.6 K/9
The Mets sent Fuller back to short season ball to work as a starter. He put up impressive numbers, including a high K rate. Baseball America rated him the league’s 20th best prospect.
Fuller spent most of the season in the rotation in low A, then finished with five starts in high A. He continued to get good results, holding hitters to an OPS of .616 with a good K rate. He had a reverse platoon split.
Fuller missed the entire season due to a torn labrum.
Fuller returned to action in June, appearing in three games in relief in high A before joining the rotation in low A.
Fuller pitched only sporadically, making just 25 appearances, all in relief. He may have still been suffering from shoulder problems, as he wasn’t out for a long period at any point. He just didn’t pitch often. He struggled with control issues, but continued to miss a lot of bats. After the season, the Mets left him off the 40-man roster and the AAA roster as well, and the Twins claimed him in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft.
The Twins sent Fuller to AA, where he pitched out of the bullpen. He remained hard to hit, holding batters to a .227 average while striking out nearly 11 per nine innings, but he had significant control problems. Fuller held left-handed hitters to a .548 OPS and right-handed hitters to .671. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Oakland.
The A’s sent Fuller to AA to start the season. He made five relief appearances before moving up to AAA. He pitched well out of the bullpen there, with a high K rate and still a few too many walks. He continued to have a moderate platoon split.
Fuller remained in extended spring training until the end of May. After he was activated, he pitched in three games for Indianapolis, then went on the disabled list and didn’t return.
Fuller will be a free agent after the season.
|2016: Minor League Salary|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2008: Drafted by the New York Mets in the 21st round, 644th overall pick; signed on June 10.
December 12, 2013: Selected by the Minnesota Twins from the New York Mets in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
November 4, 2014: Became a free agent.
November 20, 2014: Signed by the Oakland Athletics as a minor league free agent.
November 6, 2015: Became a free agent.
January 4, 2016: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.