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MLB Draft: Daxton Fulton, Jace Bohrofen, Cade Horton might be OU teammates — or turn pro

Mustang's Daxton Fulton throws a pitch during the Class 6A state baseball championship game in 2017 against Westmoore. Fulton is expected to be picked in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]
Mustang's Daxton Fulton throws a pitch during the Class 6A state baseball championship game in 2017 against Westmoore. Fulton is expected to be picked in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

MUSTANG — Daxton Fulton, Jace Bohrofen and Cade Horton posed for a photo while hoisting their Little League trophies in 2008.

The Oklahoma natives made sure to use the Horns Down gesture after winning a baseball tournament in Texas while playing for Oklahoma Elite, a travel baseball team.

Ever since he was 5 years old, Fulton has shared the field with Bohrofen and Horton as members of Oklahoma Elite. Eleven years later, all three have committed to Oklahoma in hopes of continuing to play together.

But their plan could soon change.

The three 2019 Perfect Game All-Americans are expecting their names to be called in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft next week.

Fulton, the 6-foot-6 220 pound left-handed pitcher from Mustang High School, is expected to be the first of the three friends to be drafted. ESPN's latest mock draft has him projected as the 30th pick in the first round.

“It’s every kid’s goal growing up obviously,” Fulton said. “You watch those big leaguers, and you want to be like them one day.”

Most pitchers in his situation have been fine tuning their mechanics leading up to the draft. But Fulton has had a different experience.

He’s spent the past eight months rehabbing.

In August of his junior year, Fulton was in California participating in the Team USA trials. While throwing a fastball in one of the scrimmages, Fulton felt a pop in his elbow.

“It was weird how it worked," Fulton said. “Because I didn’t fully blow out ... I still had velocity on it. I think it was like 91-92 mph, it just didn’t feel right.”

Fulton thought it was just a hyperextension because he still had full strength in his elbow. But as a precaution, he went in to get an MRI and learned he partially tore a ligament in the bottom part of his elbow.

“They wanted to do a surgery that was a repair on my elbow instead of doing a full new ligament,” Fulton said. “But it’s proven that when you get the full Tommy John, you do recover better. And so we ended up going with that.”

After going through a surgery that would set him back for months, Fulton didn’t feel sorry for himself. It wasn’t the worst injury he had seen.

“In my eyes, the surgery that I had was minor compared to my mom and my sisters,” Fulton said.

In 2018, Fulton’s mom, Jennifer, began to experience health complications. She first had open-heart surgery in November, and then in April 2019, she had half of her left foot removed because of blood clots. She was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

“It was a rough couple months for us,” Fulton said. “We were all pretty worried.”

Her surgeries were followed by Fulton’s sister, Avery, breaking both of her arms in the summer of 2019. She was riding in a Polaris Ranger that flipped and pinned her underneath. She endured 16 surgeries to repair the damage.

“She’s getting better, she’s doing well,” Fulton said. “Everything is getting better. We’ve all had our setbacks, but I think we’re all getting better.”

With the support of Daxton’s brother, Cade, and father, Chad, they have all moved on from their injuries. Jennifer is alive and well, Avery has earned her driver’s license and Daxton has returned to throwing from the mound as he prepares for the next step in his baseball career.

“Obviously if the draft works out and it feels like a good fit for me, I’d be thrilled to go pro,” Fulton said. “But I also know that if things don’t work out and I end up getting to go to college then I’m going to be happy as well.

“My main goal out of all this is to be an inspiration to other players and to other kids coming up because I'm sure a lot of people look up to me. I want to be the best version of me I can be.”

In November, Fulton posted a picture on Twitter of Bohrofen, Horton and him recreating their Oklahoma Elite photo from 11 years ago. This time, they’re all sporting Sooner uniforms as they flash the Horns Down gesture. The picture is captioned, “Sooner Born, Sooner Bred”.

That will be the case, even if they never play together at OU.

*****************************************************

MLB DRAFT

When: 6 p.m. June 10; 4 p.m. June 11

TV: MLB Network (June 10-11), ESPN (June 10), ESPN2 (June 11)

Related Photos
<strong>Mustang's Daxton Fulton is expected to be selected in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. Fulton has recovered from elbow surgery. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Mustang's Daxton Fulton is expected to be selected in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. Fulton has recovered from elbow surgery. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0330074cdbf990bfb6b30bd2dd7aeeb6.jpg" alt="Photo - Mustang's Daxton Fulton is expected to be selected in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. Fulton has recovered from elbow surgery. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title=" Mustang's Daxton Fulton is expected to be selected in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. Fulton has recovered from elbow surgery. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Mustang's Daxton Fulton is expected to be selected in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. Fulton has recovered from elbow surgery. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6f455e5a30f9ec05a87a8809d45f7d0b.jpg" alt="Photo - Bohrofen " title=" Bohrofen "><figcaption> Bohrofen </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4c2d1dd81ae949860511dbe29b065d27.jpg" alt="Photo - Horton " title=" Horton "><figcaption> Horton </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-75d438261e7899f33c91153b97314422.jpg" alt="Photo - Mustang's Daxton Fulton throws a pitch during the Class 6A state baseball championship game in 2017 against Westmoore. Fulton is expected to be picked in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title=" Mustang's Daxton Fulton throws a pitch during the Class 6A state baseball championship game in 2017 against Westmoore. Fulton is expected to be picked in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Mustang's Daxton Fulton throws a pitch during the Class 6A state baseball championship game in 2017 against Westmoore. Fulton is expected to be picked in the MLB Draft on June 10-11. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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