Archive for the ‘ Minor League Report ’ Category

Catching Up on MLB.com Top Prospects

Mike Zunino

Mike Zunino is listed by MLB.com as the No. 2 catching prospect.

We have already let you know that a trio of Mariners have been named to MLB.com’s Top Prospects Positional Rankings, as Taijuan Walker was ranked the No. 2 right-handed pitcher, and Danny Hultzen (#2) and James Paxton (#5) were among the top left-handed pitchers.

Additionally, Mike Zunino has been named the No. 2 catching prospect and Nick Franklin the No. 6 shortstop prospect.

Here is what MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo had to say about Zunino and Franklin:

2. Mike Zunino, Mariners: After being drafted third overall in 2012, Zunino moved quickly through the Minors as he reached Double-A, where he hit for average and power and also drew a good number of walks in his summer debut. The winner of the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, as well as the Johnny Bench and Dick Howser Awards following his junior season at Florida, Zunino has drawn praise for his defense and his ability to run a pitching staff. Known to be a natural leader, Zunino will be trusted to catch a young and exciting Seattle rotation and work his way toward batting in the middle of the lineup.

6. Nick Franklin, Mariners: A 20-20 season in 2010 set the bar high for this 2009 first-round pick, and while he dealt with injuries that set him back in 2011, he bounced back with a much more solid season in 2012. A two-time Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game participant, Franklin is a very good athlete who has the chance to hit for some power and steal some bases, even if he doesn’t approach the numbers of that first full season again. He’s played both shortstop and second base and some see his long-term future on the right side of the diamond, though the Mariners are committed to him playing shortstop for now.

Top 10 Prospects by Position
• Right-handed pitchers | List 
• Left-handed pitchers | List 
• Catchers | List 
• Shortstops | List 
• Third basemen | List 
• Jan. 26 – Second basemen 
• Jan. 27 – First basemen 
• Jan. 28 – Outfielders 
• Jan. 29 – Top 100 Prospects

 

Hultzen and Paxton Named Top LHP Prospects by MLB.com

Hultzen_Paxton

Mariners pitchers Danny Hultzen and James Paxton have both been named among the top 5 left-handed pitching prospects heading into the 2013 season. Hultzen checked in at No. 2 on the list, while Paxton was No. 5 in the annual MLB.com Prospect Position Rankings.

Here is what MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo had to say about Hultzen and Paxton:

2. Danny Hultzen, Mariners: Hultzen signed an $8.5 million Major League contract after being picked second in the 2011 Draft by Seattle. Thought to be an advanced college pitcher who could move up quickly, he’s done just that, reaching Triple-A in his first season of pro ball. A 2012 Futures Game participant, the lefty out of the University of Virginia dominated in Double-A but then had serious control issues in Triple-A. If he can fix those problems – and he was known as a command guy coming out of college – his three-pitch mix should work nicely in the big leagues.

5. James Paxton, Mariners: Paxton was taken in the fourth round in the 2010 Draft by Seattle, though he didn’t sign until March 2011. He reached Double-A that season and spent all of 2012 at that level. A 2011 Futures Gamer and 2012 Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game participant, there has never been any question about the Canadian’s pure power stuff, especially his fastball and breaking ball. That’s allowed him to strike out more than 10.5 per nine innings in two years in the Minors. Some thought he might eventually end up in the bullpen, but an improved changeup and better command could make him a formidable starter.

Here is a video clip from MLB.com featuring Hultzen:

Hultzen and Paxton join RHP Taijuan Walker, who was listed as the No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect. The full list of positional prospect rankings and their release dates are below:

Top 10 Prospects by Position
• Right-handed pitchers
• Left-handed pitchers
• Jan. 23 – Catchers
• Jan. 24 – Shortstops
• Jan. 25 – Third Basemen
• Jan. 26 – Second basemen
• Jan. 27 – First basemen
• Jan. 28 – Outfielders
• Jan. 29 – Top 100 Prospects

Taijuan Walker Named No. 2 Right-Handed Pitching Prospect by MLB.com

Taijuan Walker is listed as the No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com.

Taijuan Walker is listed as the No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com.

Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker has been named the No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com heading into the 2013 season.

Here is what MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo had to say about Walker.

Walker looks like one of the biggest steals of the 2010 Draft after being picked 43rd overall and signing for $800,000. He has a plus fastball that stays in the mid to upper 90s throughout games to go along with a plus curveball and an improving changeup. The 2012 Futures Gamer faded a bit in the second half of last season, but he still has all the tools to be a top-of-the-rotation type of starter.

Here is a breakdown of when MLB.com will list their top prospect lists prior to the start of spring training. Prior to the 2012 season the Mariners have five players listed amongst the MLB.com Top 100 (Jesus Montero – #12, Danny Hultzen – # 16, Taijuan Walker – #18, Nick Franklin – #52, James Paxton – #77). Walker moved up from his #8 listing to #2 this season as top RHP prospects.

Here is a look at the MLB.com schedule for prospect rankings by position:

Top 10 Prospects by Position
• Right-handed pitchers
• Jan. 22 – Left-handed pitchers
• Jan. 23 – Catchers
• Jan. 24 – Shortstops
• Jan. 25 – Third Basemen
• Jan. 26 – Second basemen
• Jan. 27 – First basemen
• Jan. 28 – Outfielders
• Jan. 29 – Top 100 Prospects

Baseball America Unveils Mariners Top Prospects

Catcher Mike Zunino is listed as the Mariners No. 1 prospect by Baseball America.

Catcher Mike Zunino is listed as the Mariners No. 1 prospect by Baseball America.

The Mariners nine minor league affiliates wrapped up the 2012 season putting together one of the best season in club history, combining for a 496-406 (.550) record. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins and winning percentage, while setting a new record for most wins in a single season. This has led to optimism in the Mariners pipeline, as Seattle has one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Baseball America unveiled their annual Top 10 Prospects list ranking the top Mariners in the minor leagues.

Baseball America’s Top 10 Mariners Prospects:

1.            Mike Zunino, c
2.            Taijuan Walker, rhp
3.            Danny Hultzen, lhp
4.            James Paxton, lhp
5.            Nick Franklin, ss/2b
6.            Brandon Maurer, rhp
7.            Carter Capps, rhp
8.            Stefen Romero, 2b
9.            Brad Miller, ss
10.          Victor Sanchez, rhp

Catcher Mike Zunino, selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player draft, quickly established himself as an offensive and defensive force and was ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners  No. 1 prospect. In his first professional season, Zunino hit .360 (58×151) with 35 runs scored, 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 44 combined between Short-A Everett and AA Jackson.

The Mariners had six pitchers ranked in the top 10, including five of the top seven prospects. For the second straight year, right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker (#2) was tabbed as the Mariners top pitching prospect. In only his third professional season, Walker, 20, was one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League and was also named to the North Division All-Star Team.  Left-handed pitchers Danny Hultzen (#3) and James Paxton (#4), joined right-handed pitchers Brandon Maurer (#6), Carter Capps (#7) and Victor Sanchez (#10) to round out the Mariners top pitching prospects. After being in the minor leagues less than a year, Capps made his Major League debut on Aug. 3, 2012 and became only the third player from the 2011 First-Year Players draft to make his ML debut.   Hultzen, Maurer and Paxton each ranked amongst the Mariners organization leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts, while Sanchez at age 17 was the youngest player in the top 10.

While the Mariners are known for their top pitching prospects, it was their offensive numbers that really stood out in 2012. Amongst all full-season minor league clubs, the Mariners affiliates finished in the top 5 in nearly every offensive category, including ranking first in hits, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.  Infielders Nick Franklin (#5), Stefen Romero (#8) and Brad Miller (#9) joined Zunino as the Mariners position players in the organizations top 10 rankings.  Romero was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year after batting .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 64 extra-base hits and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between High-A High Desert and AA Jackson.   Franklin was recently named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospect Team, while Miller ranked second amongst all Minor Leaguers with 186 hits.

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Minor League Awards & Winter Meetings Preview

The Hot Stove League is in full swing with the Winter Meetings being held next week in Nashville. Mariners.com beat writer Greg Johns wrote a feature about what to expect from the Mariners contingent in Nashville.

And we have more good news to pass along about our minor leaguers. The Arizona Fall League recently concluded with the Peoria Javelinas capturing the league championship. Eight Javelinas represented the Mariners organization: Vinnie Catricala, Nick Franklin, Stefen Romero, Mike Zunino, Logan Bawcom, Bobby LaFromboise, James Paxton and Carson Smith.

And here are some interesting notes that have popped up lately on the interent:

A full Winter League Report will be posted later today with detailed information on Mariners around the Winter Leagues.

Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin and James Paxton were selected to the MLB.com Arizona Fall League Top Prospect Team. (photos by Joseph Pun/City of Peoria)

Mariners Winter League Report

Here is the latest edition of the Mariners Winter League Report.

Mariners Winter League Update

LHP James Paxton has struck out 10 and allowed only 1 run in 2 starts for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. (Photo by Joseph Pun/Peoria Sports Complex)

Several Seattle Mariners are already in action in various Winter Leagues, including the Arizona Fall League, Dominican Winter League and the Venezuelan Winter League.

Below is a recap of Mariners in the winter leagues from last week. You can also keep up-to-date with statistics via MLB.com.

Mariners Announced 2012 Minor League Awards

The Mariners announced the 2012 Minor League Awards today, and all players will be honored before the season finale today vs. the Los Angeles Angels.

Infielder Stefen Romero (High Desert/Jackson) was named Player of the Year, while right-hander Carter Capps (Jackson/Tacoma/Seattle) was named the Pitcher of the Year. Infielder Brad Miller (High Desert/Jackson) received the Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership and right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer (Jackson) was named the Most Improved Player in the Mariners organization.

Romero, 23, hit .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 64 extra-base (2B – 34, 3B – 7, HR – 23) and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. In only his second professional season, Romero finished 3rd amongst all full season minor leaguers in average and was named to the Baseball America 2012 Second-Team All-Star team as a second baseman. Romero was one of only 19 players in the minor leagues this season to knock in at least 100 runs. He tied for the organizational lead in average, while ranking 2nd in RBI and 3rd in home runs.  Romero became the first Minor League Player in 2012 to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat on May 22 at Lancaster. He recorded 50 multi-hit games (25-High Desert, 25-Jackson), including 8 three-hit games and 6 season-high four-hit games. Romero was named to the California League All-Star team before being promoted to Jackson on June 21. With the Generals he hit safely in 47 of 55 games with an at-bat, while batting .347 (75×216). Romero, a native of Tucson, Arizona, attended Oregon State University from 2009-10 and was the Mariners 12th round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

“Stefen had an outstanding offensive season combined between High Desert and Jackson,” Zduriencik said. “He not only led the organization in many offensive categories, but was one of the top players in all of the minor leagues.

Capps, 22, went 2-3 with 19 saves and a 1.23 ERA (7 ER, 51.1 IP) in 39 relief appearances combined between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma. The 6-5, 220-pound right-hander averaged 13.2 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per 9.0 innings and converted 19 of 21 saves opportunities. He held opponents to a .212 (40×189) batting average, while walking 12 and striking out 75. Capps was selected to Seattle on July 31 and made his Major League debut on August 3 at New York (AL). In 18 relief appearances with the Mariners, Capps is 0-0 with a 3.96 ERA (11 ER, 25.0 IP) with 28 strikeouts. He was the third players from the 2011 draft to make his ML debut. Capps was the Mariners 3rd-round supplemental selection (121st overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mount Olive College (NC). He was named the 2011 NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with 2 saves and a 1.75 ERA in 20 games/15 starts.

“Carter had a great year which led to him being called up in early August,” Zduriencik said. “He had great command of the ball and was one of the most dominating relief pitchers in the minor leagues.”

Brad Miller, Brandon Maurer and Stefen Romero prior to the start of the Mariners season finale vs. the Angels.

Miller, 22, received the Mariners Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership skills both on and off the field. Miller hit .334 (186×557) with 110 runs scored, 40 doubles, 7 triples, 15 home runs and 68 RBI in 137 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. His 186 hits ranked 2nd amongst all minor leaguers this year, while also ranking 4th in runs scored and tied for 10th in doubles. Miller led all Mariners farmhands with 56 multi-hit games, including 12 three-hit games and 2 season-high four-hit games. He reached base safely, via hit or walk, in 123 out of 137 (90%) games he appeared, including 90 of 97 games with the Mavericks. He was named California League All-Star team and named the league’s Player of the Week, April 5-15. Miller was the Mariners 2nd round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the Clemson University. He was named 2011 ACC Player-of-Year his junior season after leading the conference in average (.395) and on-base percentage (.489).

“Brad has been a leader both on and off the field this season,” Zduriencik said. “He has a knack for getting things started when they need to get started and motivating his teammates throughout the game.”

Maurer, 22, was recently named Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher after going 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA (49 ER, 137.2 IP) in 24 starts with AA Jackson. After being limited to only 22 games, 17 starts, over the 2010-11 seasons due to injuries, Maurer rebounded to lead the league with an .818 winning percentage and ranked 5th in ERA, while helping Jackson to the best record in the Southern League in 2012 (79-61). Maurer limited opponents to a .260 (133×512) average, while walking 48 and striking out 117. He finished tied for the Generals lead in wins (9), while leading the team in strikeouts (117) and innings pitched (137.1). In his final 14 starts of the season, from June 1-Aug. 16, Maurer went 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA (24 ER, 86.1 IP) and recorded 10 quality starts. During this stretch has lowered his season ERA from 4.38 to 3.20. After only recording 7 wins in his first four seasons in the Mariners organization, Maurer set a career-high with 9 wins in 2012. He was the Mariners 23rd round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Orange Lutheran (CA) High School. Maurer is 16-17 with a 3.65 ERA (131 ER, 323.0 IP) in 67 games, 58 starts in his four-year minor league career.

“Brandon committed himself to physical fitness in the offseason and the results showed with a successful season,” Zduriencik. “After a slow start to the season he emerged one of the top pitching prospects in the organization.”

Here is a complete rundown of all the Mariners minor leaguers in 2012:

Mariners Farm System Continues to Strengthen

Prior to the 2012 season, the Mariners farm system was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 1 organization based on their prospect points system, with five players rated in the top 100. After a record 496 wins by the Mariners 9 minor league affiliates, and 6 playoff berths, the Mariners remained the top team when MLB.com re-ranked the top 100 and each club’s top 20 prospects.

Here is an article by Mariners.com beat writer Greg Johns detailing the impressive group of prospects:

The updated rankings show the Mariners ranking first among all 30 MLB teams based on point values assigned to each of the top 100 prospects, just ahead of the Pirates, D-backs and Cardinals.

Top Prospect Points
 1.  Seattle               327
 2.  Pittsburgh            326
 3.  Arizona               321
 4.  St. Louis             320
 5.  Toronto               281

The following Mariners ranked in the top 100 by MLB.com (prospect ranking):

And here are the players included in the Mariners top 20 prospects list by MLB.com:

 

 

Mariners Cap Stellar Minor League Regular Season

The Mariners 9 minor league affiliates have wrapped up the 2012 season, putting together one of the best seasons in club history, combining for a 496-406 (.550) record. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins (496) and winning percentage (.550), and set a record for most wins in a single season by any Major League farm system. Additionally, 6 of the Mariners 9 affiliates qualified for the postseason.

  • Jackson leads 1-0 in their Best of 5 series vs. Chattanooga in the Southern League.
  • High Desert, who won both the first- and second-half California League South Division, have a bye in the first round and will begin the
    Division Finals Sept. 8 at Mavericks Stadium.
  • Clinton is tied 1-1 with Beloit in the Best of 3 Midwest League playoffs.
  • Everett lost to Vancouver in the opening round of the Northwest League playoffs.
  • The Mariners Dominican and Venezuelan academies both qualified for the playoffs.

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