The Chicago White Sox are in the midst of a complete rebuild. Two years in, the White Sox farm system is absolutely loaded. The future is shining brightly on the South Side.
White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn hasn't missed on many moves. Hahn fleeced the Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, the Yankees for Blake Rutherford, and the Nationals for Dane Dunning to name a few.
However, there’s one “miss” in particular that looks really, really bad, especially the deeper we get into October.
Last year, Walker Buehler was watching the World Series from the Dodger Stadium upper deck. Now, he could be their key to winning it. https://t.co/GLsijA8pd8 pic.twitter.com/kd9g7HpzQo— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 12, 2018
The Chicago White Sox held the eighth-overall pick in the 2015 draft.
While all signs pointed to the White Sox going with Arkansas (and current Boston Red Sox) outfielder Andrew Benintendi, plans changed at the last second when Benintendi was taken one pick earlier, at seven.
The White Sox settled for Vanderbilt pitcher Carson Fulmer. At the time, Fulmer was the top pitcher on the board and was viewed as a relatively good pick.
Sixteen picks later, another Vanderbilt pitcher went off the board. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Walker Buehler, the No. 2 starter in a loaded Commodores rotation.
Three years later, the return is pretty ugly for the White Sox.
Fulmer debuted in 2016, a little over a year after his selection, but struggled mightily. After not making any starts in 2017, Fulmer broke Spring Training this year as the White Sox fifth starter.
Needless to say, his six-week tenure in the rotation was a disaster. In nine appearances (eight starts), Fulmer logged an 8.07 ERA, with 24 walks in 32.2 innings. He was demoted to Triple-A in May, where he spent the rest of 2018.
Meanwhile, Buehler had rose to the top of most top prospects lists in all of baseball. By the time Fulmer was sitting in Charlotte, Buehler was a mainstay in the Dodgers rotation. He finished 2018 with an 8-5 record, recording a 2.62 ERA in 24 starts.
Obviously, at the time, Fulmer was a much more highly-touted draft prospect. But, as Buehler continues to shine when the lights are brightest in the National League Championship Series, White Sox fans can’t help but wonder: What if?