As you no doubt recall, Vanderbilt University ace right-hander Carson Fulmer had an outstanding college season: 14-2, 1.83 ERA, 167/50 K/BB in 128 innings, just 81 hits. Drafted in the first round eighth-overall by the Chicago White Sox, Fulmer has been handled carefully thus far, opening his pro career a single one-inning start in the Arizona Rookie League, then moving up to the Carolina League and making five starts for Winston-Salem, five starts on a strict pitch count. Overall he's pitched a total of 14 professional innings, with a 15/4 K/BB and 2.57 ERA. Reports indicate he looks very good indeed.
Given his college workload this spring it makes perfect sense to be cautious with him the remainder of 2015. But what about 2016?
The White Sox are not afraid to promote advanced college pitchers quickly, as Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon can tell you. And indeed, part of Fulmer's attraction on draft day was his combination of nasty stuff and sufficient polish for a rapid advancement to the majors. But in your opinion, how far should the Sox push this?
If you were running the White Sox and in charge of Carson Fulmer, what's your plan for 2016? Let's assume that he stays healthy over the winter, enters spring training in fine shape, and exits it that way too. Two questions for you to answer:
A) Is he a starter or reliever?
B) Where does he open the 2016 season?
For purposes of this question, we will also assume that he is neither especially bad nor especially good in spring training. He doesn't get clobbered but he's not un-hittably dominant and obviously ready, either. In other words, "it depends on what happens in spring training" isn't a valid answer for this exercise, even if it is the most realistic one.
My own answers to this question are A) he's definitely a starter for me; B) open in Double-A. If he is dominating after five starts, move him to Triple-A. If he dominates there, bring him to the majors around the All-Star Break.
What are your answers? What is the ideal way to handle Fulmer in your view?