Dax Fulton, a Mustang left-handed pitcher and University of Oklahoma signee, was chosen Thursday by the Miami Marlins in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He went 40th overall.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Fulton was the second player with Oklahoma ties chosen in this year's draft, shortened from 40 to five rounds, and the only one from the Oklahoma high school ranks.
Cade Cavalli, a former Bixby High standout and OU right-handed pitcher, was chosen Wednesday in the first round by the World Series champion Washington Nationals on the 22nd overall pick.
Three other highly rated Oklahoma high school players, Westmoore's Jace Bohrofen, Norman's Cade Horton and Owasso's Nate Wohlgemuth, went undrafted. Bohrofen and Horton have signed with OU and Wohlgemuth has signed with the University of Arkansas.
Fulton was the first left-handed pitcher chosen from the high school ranks in this year's draft, and the highest-drafted Oklahoma high schooler since Ty Hensley of Edmond Santa Fe went 30th overall to the New York Yankees in 2012.
“We’re really excited for him,” Mustang coach Joe Patterson said. “He was pretty nervous about his Tommy John surgery and for him to overcome all of that, it’s a pretty high honor.”
Fulton was throwing 90-93 mph and was projected as a first-round pick before he tore a ligament in his elbow during the U.S. Team Trials in California last August. Following surgery, he began rehabbing and was cleared to throw in March.
“I don’t think he’ll fall off,” Patterson said. “Tommy John surgery is such a common thing now. They’ve got it down to a science. He had the best surgeon you can get, and he’s been rehabbing with the best people.”
Patterson was head coach at Westmoore before moving to Mustang last May. In 2017, he was in the opposing dugout when Fulton burst on the scene as a ninth-grader by pitching a complete game to beat the Jaguars in the 6A state championship game.
Three years later, Fulton has a decision to make — play at OU or take the money. The assigned bonus value for the 40th pick is $1.86 million.
Under this year's draft rules, even if Fulton were to sign for that much, he would receive only $100,000 this year, with the balance to be paid over the next two years.
Patterson said there probably isn’t any question whether he will make the grade.
“With his frame and his fastball, I would think he’s a good fit for pretty much any major league team,” Patterson said.
Collegians were the next Oklahomans chosen Thursday, both in the third round. OSU second baseman Kaden Polcovich went to the Seattle Mariners with the 75th overall pick. OU left-hander Levi Prater went to the St. Louis Cardinals with the 93rd pick.
Two more Sooners went in the fourth round — catcher Brady Lindsly to the Nationals with the 123rd pick and right-handed pitcher Dane Acker to the Oakland Athletics with the 127th pick.