We’ve got a new way to experience FanFest this year — online.
Visit the Mariners FanFest Social Media Schedule online to view timings of live Facebook Chats and Twitter Takeovers that will originate from on top of the visitor’s dugout at Safeco Field this weekend. Fans at the ballpark can participate with their smartphones and tablets, and it’s a fun way for our fans across the Northwest to login from home and join the conversation.
We’ll also be live streaming the Dugout Dialogue sessions from FanFest all day Saturday and Sunday on Mariners.com.
Saturday – Social Media Schedule:
|11:10 a.m.||Mike Carp (@carpusmaximus20)||Twitter Takeover|
|12:00 p.m.||James Paxton (@James_Paxton)||Facebook Chat|
|12:00 p.m.||Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker)||Twitter Takeover|
|1:00 p.m.||Miguel Olivo||Facebook Chat|
|1:45 p.m.||Brandon League||Twitter Takeover|
|2:30 p.m.||Jack Zduriencik||Facebook Chat|
Sunday – Social Media Schedule
|11:30 a.m.||Trayvon Robinson||Facebook Chat|
|12:00 p.m.||James Paxton (@James_Paxton)||Twitter Takeover|
|12:30 p.m.||Vinnie Catricala||Facebook Chat|
|1:00 p.m.||Brendan Ryan||Twitter Takeover|
|1:30 p.m.||Jesus Montero||Facebook Chat|
|1:45 p.m.||Jason Vargas||Twitter Takeover|
|2:00 p.m.||Danny Hultzen||Facebook Chat|
|2:30 p.m.||Casper Wells (@UpstateBaller)||Twitter Takeover|
We’ve just gotten word that pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who signed a free-agent contract with the Mariners on January 5, will be in Seattle Sunday for the 14th Annual Mariners FanFest.
Iwakuma will participate in several FanFest activities including a fan Q&A on top of the Mariners dugout (starting at 12:30pm). The Dugout Dialog sessions are streamed live on www.mariners.com.
Iwakuma is also scheduled to sign autographs in the afternoon. Fans wanting to get Iwakuma’s autograph need to enter through the Home Plate Gate and pick up one of the 500 Iwakuma autograph vouchers. Vouchers are on a first come, first served basis.
Iwakuma compiled a 107-69 record in 226 career games with Kintetsu (2001-04) and Rakuten (2005-2011) in the Japan League. He was named the 2008 Pacific League MVP and winner of the Eiji Sawamura Award (Cy Young equivalent) after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA (42 ER, 201.2 IP) in 28 starts. Last season Iwakuma was 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA (32 ER, 119.0 IP) with 90 strikeouts in 17 starts. He missed part of the season on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder.
Earlier this week, MLB.com came out with their Top 100 prospects, with 5 Mariners on the list. Today, it was Baseball America’s turn to unveil their annual Top 10 Mariners Prospects via their website.
And look who is on the cover of this week’s edition of Baseball America, Taijuan Walker.
Here are the Mariners Top 10 Prospects, as well as the publications listing for the Best Mariners Tools:
- Jesus Montero, c
- Taijuan Walker, rhp
- Danny Hultzen, lhp
- James Paxton, lhp
- Nick Franklin, 2b/ss
- Francisco Martinez, 3b
- Chance Ruffin, rhp
- Tom Wilhelmsen, rhp
- Vinnie Catricala, 3b/1b/of
- Phillips Castillo, of
Best Hitter for Average – Jesus Montero
Best Power Hitter – Jesus Montero
Best Strike Zone Discipline – Vinnie Catricala
Fastest Baserunner – Jamal Austin
Best Athlete – Taijuan Walker
Best Fastball – Taijuan Walker
Best Curveball – James Paxton
Best Slider – Chance Ruffin
Best Changeup – Danny Hultzen
Best Control – Danny Hultzen
Best Defensive Catcher – Steve Baron
Best Defensive Infielder – Gabriel Noriega
Best Infield Arm – Carlos Triunfel
Best Defensive OF – Danny Carroll
Best Outfield Arm – Johermyn Chavez
And we just found out that 5 Mariners are ranked among the top 100.
- C Jesus Montero (#12)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#16)
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#18)
- INF Nick Franklin (#52)
- LHP James Paxton (#77)
The Mariners were one of five organizations to place at least 5 prospects on this year’s Top 100 list. The Padres, Rays and A’s each had six prospects on the list. But they ranked the highest with 329 Prospect Points (100 points to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2 and on down).
Top Prospect Points 1. Seattle 329 2. Kansas City 290 3. Pittsburgh 276 4. Atlanta 267 5. Arizona 253
MLB.com writer T.R. Sullivan caught up with Danny Hultzen and General Manager Jack Zduriencik in his piece on Mariners.com. Jonathan Mayo also breaks down the top 100 prospects in this detailed article.
And we can also note that 4 of the 5 players (Montero, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton) will be in town this weekend at FanFest.
The Mariners are certainly excited about all the talent that is coming up through the minor league pipeline and as some of you may know, a few of those talented young players will be here at FanFest this weekend: LHP Danny Hultzen, RHP Taijuan Walker, LHP James Paxton & OF Vinnie Catricala.
If you would like to get an idea of what the future of baseball may look like around the league, you’ll want to check out MLB Network or MLB.com tonight at 7pm PST when they will unveil the Top 50 Prospects in baseball. The complete rankings, including prospects 51-100, position and team lists, can be found at “Prospect Central” at MLB.com/prospects. MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo will also discuss the top 100 prospects in an online chat on Friday, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET on MLB.com.
Newly acquired Mariners catcher Jesus Montero will surely be on the list, but he certainly hopes it is the last time:
“I don’t want to be a prospect anymore, I want to be in the big leagues,” said Montero. “I want somebody else to be the number one.”
If you read our earlier post about MLB.com’s list of the top 10 prospects at each position, you will have an idea of some of the Seattle players that will show up on the Top 100 list tonight. You can also add Montero to the list, as he was rated as the top catching prospect.