Mariners Promote Hultzen & Franklin to AAA Tacoma
Fresh off their appearances in the Southern League All-Star game yesterday, left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen and infielder Nick Franklin are being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma. The pair will join the Rainiers roster today.
Hultzen, 22, went 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. After allowing 5 runs in 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, he has allowed only 5 earned runs in his last 71.1 innings (0.63 ERA), lowering his ERA from 11.25 to 1.19 ERA in last 12 starts. He also held opponents scoreless in 26.2 consecutive innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen currently leads the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponents batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranks T1st in the league in wins (8), 2nd in strikeouts (79), T4th in innings pitched (75.1) and in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.44). Hultzen was the starting pitcher for the North Division in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, tossing a scoreless first inning with a walk and strike out.
Hultzen, who is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start with Tacoma on Saturday, June 23 at Colorado Springs, was the Mariners first round selection (2nd overall) in the 2011 First-Year MLB Player Draft out of the University of Virginia. He made his professional debut in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, going 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA (3 ER, 19.1 IP) in 6 starts. He entered the 2012 season ranked as the No. 16 prospect by MLB.com and also listed as the No. 3 left-handed pitcher by the website.
Franklin, 21, hit .322 (66×205) with 25 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 26 RBI in 57 games with Jackson. He was named Southern League Player of the Week, May 28-June 3. He currently ranks 2nd in the Southern League in average (.322) and T3rd with a .394 on-base percentage. Franklin was the starting shortstop in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, going 0-for-33 with a walk. Franklin was recently named the Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May, an award voted by Southern League Field managers. He also leads the league with a .457 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage, adding up to a 1.105 OPS that currently ranks 2nd in Double-A.
Franklin was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (27th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. In his first 4 professional seasons, he is batting .292 (332×1136) with 191 runs scored, 56 doubles, 19 triples, 35 home runs and 123 RBI in 291 games. He entered the 2012 season rated by MLB.com as the No. 52 overall overall prospect and the No. 6 shortstop.