- Full name Casey Paul Fossum
- Born 01/06/1978 in Cherry Hill, NJ
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 160 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Texas A&M
- Debut 07/28/2001
Drafted in the C round (48th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 1999 (signed for $660,000).
View Draft ReportSix-foot-6, 215-pound RHP Chance Caple and 6-foot, 150-pound LHP Casey Fossum offered a contrasting look--and contrasting styles--to hitters as the top starters in the Texas A&M rotation. Fossum was a seventh-round pick out of high school. Fossum's size and durability have become a concern to scouts. Most believe he was a better pitcher as a freshman than he is now. He has a whiplike arm action that produces an 88-92-mph fastball and excellent slider, his best pitch. He struggled early this season when he lost command of the slider. He continued to back right out of the first round with each inconsistent outing and now projects more as a second-rounder.
Organization Prospect Rankings
While fellow 1999 first-round picks Rick Asadoorian (since traded to the Cardinals) and Brad Baker regressed last season, Fossum finished the year in the Red Sox rotation. He allowed one earned run or less in 12 of his 20 Double-A starts, a far better indication of how he pitched than his 3-7 record. Fossum's 73-79 mph curveball is the top breaking pitch in the system; lefthanders can't touch it. He throws strikes and gets nice downward movement with his fastball, which rarely tops 90 mph. He's mentally tough. Because he has just one plus pitch, Fossum projects more as a reliever or swingman than a full-time starter. He had a good changeup in college but has gotten away from it as a pro. He's not durable, as he tires quickly and often starts leaving his pitches up in the strike zone by the fourth inning. Fossum had a 0.93 ERA as a big league reliever, compared to a 5.97 ERA as a starter. That performance, and Boston's offseason additions of John Burkett, Dustin Hermanson and Darren Oliver, means Fossum will compete for a bullpen job in spring training.
Boston regrettably gave up righthander Matt Kinney and outfielder John Barnes in a 1998 trade with the Twins for veterans Greg Swindell and Orlando Merced, but got Fossum with a compensation pick after Swindell signed with Arizona. Fossum set season and career strikeout records at Texas A&M. He went 7-2, 2.33 in the second half of 2000, highlighted by a no-hitter with 16 whiffs in August. Fossum reminds scouts of Jimmy Key. He can reach 91-92 mph with his fastball, and his best pitch is a hard slider. He has very good command, lots of confidence and a sound delivery. He destroyed lefties in 2000, limiting them to a .105 average with no homers in 95 at-bats. Fossum's changeup is improving, but it still needs some more work before he'll be able to keep righties in check. He also could add more strength. Fossum is the only true prospect among lefthanders who pitched in full-season ball for the Red Sox in 2000. He'll start 2001 in Double-A and has an outside chance to reach Boston by the end of the year. At worst, he'll make a good situational reliever.
Minor League Top Prospects
Fossum had the worst luck in the EL. He allowed one earned run or less in 12 of his 20 starts, yet had a 3-3 record in those outings and was 3-7 overall. He joined Boston in July after posting a 0.97 ERA in his final seven starts. Fossum's has split time between starting and relieving with the Red Sox, and scouts always have been divided about his long-term role because his fastball has only average velocity. His delivery, arm speed and arm angle make his heater look quicker. "His fastball has very good life in the strike zone," Trenton manager Billy Gardner Jr. said, "but the pitch that makes him effective is his curveball. It's tight and it has good bite in the strike zone. He also has brought along his changeup to give him three pitches."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Curveball in the Boston Red Sox in 2001