Results tagged ‘ Taijuan Walker ’
It is that time of year where the top prospect lists start to come out. Baseball Prospectus chimes in with their Mariners Top 10 this morning with an in-depth analysis of the Mariners Farm System. While the complete run-down is available only to subscribers (which is a great resource for baseball fans), here is the top 10 list and a peak at the detailed profiles of Taijuan Walker and D.J. Peterson. We’ll post additional prospect news/lists when Baseball America, MLB.com and any others publish their rankings.
Baseball Prospectus – Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects
by Jason Parks
The Top Ten
- RHP Taijuan Walker
- 1B D.J. Peterson
- LHP James Paxton
- RHP Victor Sanchez
- RHP Edwin Diaz
- LHP Luiz Gohara
- SS Chris Taylor
- LHP Tyler Pike
- C Tyler Marlette
- OF Gabriel Guerrero
1. Taijuan Walker
Height/Weight: 6’4” 210 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2010 draft, Yucaipa HS (Yucaipa, CA)
Previous Ranking: #1 (Org), #9 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: ERA 3.60 (15 IP, 11 H, 12 K, 4 BB) at major league level, 3.61 ERA (57.1 IP, 54 H, 64 K, 27 BB) at Triple-A Tacoma, 2.46 ERA (84 IP, 58 H, 96 K, 30 BB) at Double-A Jackson
The Tools: 7 FB; 7 CT; 5 CB; future 5 CH
What Happened in 2013: Walker started at the Double-A level and finished his season with three starts at the major-league level, displaying not only high-level stuff but also the necessary makeup to stand on a major-league mound as a 21-year-old.
Strengths: Electric fastball from easy release; works in the 94-96 range; can get more when he needs more; good movement to the arm side; cutter is a monster pitch; 89-93 with late horizontal movement to the glove side; curveball has big depth in the 73-76 range; average but effective offering; excellent pickoff move; big competitor.
Weaknesses: Command is below average; lacks plus projection; can work up in the zone too often; curveball has nice shape but can get soft; tendency to start it too high in the zone; will struggle to be effective unless it plays with sharper fastball command; changeup can get too firm; lacks quality fade.
Overall Future Potential: 7; no. 2 starter
Realistic Role: 7; no. 2 starter
Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; ready for majors
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: One of the top fantasy pitching prospects in the game, Walker has the type of arm that can help contribute strongly across all categories. I’m not sold that he’ll be someone who sits near the top of the league leaderboard in strikeouts, but there will be enough to go around (think around 190-200 at his peak).
The Year Ahead: Walker needs to refine his command and his secondary arsenal, but the fastball is a high-end major-league pitch, and the cutter can bail him out of situations. Oddly enough, the curve that received all the minor-league hype received the least amount of industry love, at least as far as major-league projection is concerned. Don’t rule out his changeup becoming a much better pitch than people are projecting; it doesn’t look good now, but he has feel for pitching and the power of the fastball will assist in the deceptive elements of the offering. I wouldn’t be shocked if it develops into a plus pitch down the line. Give it time.
Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013
2. D.J. Peterson
Height/Weight: 6’1” 190 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2013 draft, University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
Previous Ranking: NR
2013 Stats: .293/.346/.576 at Low-A Clinton (26 games), .312/.382/.532 at short-season Everett (29 games)
The Tools: 6 potential hit/power
What Happened in 2013: It’s a small sample, but Peterson did exactly what a polished college bat should do in the lower minors, which is slug .553 over two spots, including 13 home runs is 55 games.
Strengths: Natural hitter; easy to the ball; good extension; uses the entire field; shows plus power potential; doesn’t sell out for the tool; strength to lift the ball; arm is strong enough for third.
Weaknesses: Glove is below average at third; below-average range; likely home is across the diamond at first; has work ethic to improve at position, but the bat is the carrying tool; has to hit.
Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division third baseman
Realistic Role: 5; second-division first baseman
Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate; difficult profile but good polish at present with plus projections on hit/power.
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: The key with Peterson is how long he can maintain that 3B eligibility, even if his future eventually lies across the diamond. If his bat comes close to maxing out, that’s the difference between a stud at the hot corner and a back-end starter at first base. However, it’s a tough task to put up big power numbers as a right-handed bat at Safeco.
The Year Ahead: Peterson could be ready to move fast, possibly reaching Double-A by summer. The bat is his ticket to a first-division future, and the reports since he signed have been very positive; his bat-to-ball is very easy, and the power is already showing up in game action. He’s going to hit. The big question is: Will he become a 6/6 hit/power type or will he fall short of those projections? Falling short with the stick could come with an even bigger sting if he does in fact shift over to first at some point in the development process, a move that my sources seem to think is a likely outcome.
Major league ETA: 2015
For the rest of the rundown on the top 10, please visit BaseballProspectus.com.
A few quick updates before the Mariners open an 8-game, 10-day, 3-team homestand tonight vs. the Oakland Athletics…
- The Mariners had two draft picks, 2nd-rounder Austin Wilson and 13th-rounder Lachlan Fontaine, at the ballpark to sign their professional contracts. Wilson and Fontaine put on a power display during early batting practice, with both players hitting several home runs. Wilson will report to the Everett AquaSox and Fontaine to the Peoria Mariners to begin their pro careers. Good luck to both!
- Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been promoted to AAA Tacoma and is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start Tuesday vs. the Fresno Grizzlies at Cheney Stadium. Walker went 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA (23 ER, 84.0 IP) with 96 strikeouts in 14 starts for AA Jackson in the Southern League. Walker was the Mariners first selection (43rd overall) in the 2010 June Amateur Draft out of Yucaipa (CA) High School. In four minor league seasons he has combined to go 18-23 with a 3.46 ERA in 61 games/57 starts. He entered this season rated by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect, and No. 2 pitching prospect.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that Danny Hultzen (out since late April with a rotator cuff strain) is scheduled to start and throw 5.0 innings for the Peoria Mariners tomorrow in the Arizona League. If all goes well, he could return to the Tacoma rotation following that. Pretty cool to think the Rainiers starting 5 could be Brandon Maurer, Erasmo Ramirez, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker.
Well, the votes are in, and five Mariners have been named to the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects List. The impressive haul of Mariners includes three players listed in the top 25 and four in the top 50. Here are the Mariners named to the Top 100 list:
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#5)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#18)
- C Mike Zunino (#23)
- INF Nick Franklin (#47)
- LHP James Paxton (#61)
And for the second consecutive season the Mariners organization received the most “Prospect Points”
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:
• 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
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.
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):
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#5)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#9)
- INF Nick Franklin (#31)
- C Mike Zunino (#51)
- LHP James Paxton (#82)
And here are the players included in the Mariners top 20 prospects list by MLB.com:
Earlier this morning Mariners minor league pitchers Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker were selected to play in the 14th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game to be played Sunday, July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (2 p.m. PT/ESPN2, MLB Network Radio).
Major League Baseball has held the game during All-Star weekend since 1999, featuring minor league prospects in a USA vs. World showcase. The Mariners have had 28 selections to the Futures Game since its first beginning in 1999. Six players on the current 25-man roster played in the Futures Game in the past: Miguel Olivo (2000), Franklin Gutierrez (2003), Felix Hernandez (2004), Michael Saunders (2007), Jesus Montero (2008-09) and Hector Noesi (2010).
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club, the U.S. Team and the World Team. Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
Hultzen, 22, is 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. He was promoted to AAA Tacoma yesterday, and is scheduled to make his Rainiers debut Saturday at Colorado Springs. After allowing 5 runs in 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, Hultzen 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 heads to Triple-A with a string of 26.2 consecutive scoreless innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen left Jackson leading the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponent batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranked 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 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 in baseball by MLB.com and also listed as the No. 3 left-handed pitcher by the website.
Walker, 19, is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA (24 ER, 57.0 IP) in 12 starts with Double-A Jackson. He has limited opponents to a .249 (53×247) average, while walking 23 and striking out 59 in 57.0 innings. As one of the youngest players in the Southern League, he has allowed 2 or less earned runs in 9 of his 12 starts this season, including holding opponents scoreless in 3 starts.
Walker was selected by the Mariners in the first round (43rd overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player draft. He was named Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, after going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA (31 ER, 96.2 IP) in 18 starts with Clinton. Walker was also named the top Midwest League prospect in 2011 by Baseball America. In his first 3 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Walker is 11-9 with a 3.14 ERA (56 ER, 160.2 IP) in 32 games, 30 starts.
You can view the complete Futures Game Roster via MLB.com. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World team dugouts during the game by following @USDugout and @WorldDugout.
Here is a list of all the Mariners that have been selected to play in the Futures Game dating back to 1999:
Mariners in the Futures Game
Chris Mears, RHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)
Craig Anderson, LHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)
Joel Pineiro, RHP (World)
Jamal Strong, OF (USA)
Jose Lopez, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)
Clint Nageotte, RHP (USA)
Travis Blackley, LHP (World)
Jeremy Reed, OF (USA)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)
Felix Hernandez, RHP (World)
Yuniesky Betancourt, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Yung Chi Chen, INF (World)
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Michael Saunders, OF (World)
Phillippe Aumont, RHP (World)
Tyson Gillies, OF (World)
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)
Carlos Peguero, OF (World)
Alex Liddi, OF (World)
James Paxton, LHP (World)
Danny Hultzen, LHP (USA)
Taijuan Walker, RHP (USA)
Day 10 / Tuesday, February 21, 2012 / 35 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 51 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: If you could bottle this weather up, you would be set. Sorry to rub this in for any Northwest fans reading this while it is cold and rainy, but it was just about perfect today. Photo day started with the temps at a “brisk” 47°, and climbed to near 70° when the players finished the workout. And the weather ahead also looks pretty good, including highs expected in the 80′s this weekend.
News of the Day:
Manager Eric Wedge announced following practice that Ichiro will bat third in the batting lineup this year. He also said he is going to give first shot at the leadoff position to Chone Figgins and Dustin Ackley will start the season batting 2nd. For the seamheads out there, Ichiro has made 13 starts in his career where he has batted 3rd in the lineup, last June 23, 2004 at Texas. 1,730 of his 1,733 career starts (1,749 career games played) have had his name penciled into the leadoff spot on the Mariners lineup card since his MLB debut in 2001.
Quotes of the Day:
“Sorry.” Pretty simple, and straight from the mouth of ace Felix Hernandez after striking out prospect Nick Franklin on a pretty nasty curveball. When asked what pitch he struck out on, Franklin just shook his head and said “a huge curveball. Never seen one like that before!”
“Come on Ichi, Come on Ichi, Come on Ichi!!!!!!” That was energetic infielder Munenori Kawasaki cheering on Ichiro when the outfielders were working on cutoffs and throwing to different bases. He got plenty of laughs out of teammates, media and fans watching practice.
Tweet of the Day:
#shoutout to all my new followers, and all the photographers who made photo day a breeze..
— forrest snow (@feSNOW) February 21, 2012
Outfielders Franklin Gutierrez (29th) and Chih-Hsien Chiang (25th) celebrated their birthdays today. Both even got a few “Happy Birthday’s” shouted their way as both players shuffled between practice fields.
The Mariners ran through one of their longer workouts so far this spring, with the catchers finishing their conditioning around 1 p.m. local time. A total of 17 pitchers threw live BP, including Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, Blake Beavan, James Paxton and Shawn Kelley. The team also went through a spirited round of infield-outfield, with several outfielders showing pinpoint accuracy throwing home.
We had a previous blog entry on Photo Day, with plenty of photos from the morning photo shoots. All 67 players in Major League camp ran through a gauntlet of photo stations including Getty Images, AP, Kyodo News, Topps and US Presswire.
Along with our everyday beat writers Greg Johns (MLB.com), Larry LaRue (Tacoma News Tribune), Geoff Baker (Seattle Times), Larry Stone (Seattle Times), and local TV reporters Chris Egan (King 5) and Aaron Levine (Q13), some national media members made pit stops at Mariners camp today. ESPN.com’s Jorge Arangure, CBSSportsline.com’s Scott Miller and ESPN’s Pedro Gomez were seen on the back fields doing stories on the Mariners.
Day 5 / Thursday, February 16, 2012 / 40 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 56 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: Not a cloud in the sky during workouts as the temperatures hovered in the lower to mid-60’s.
Quote of the Day: “Heads Up!” – Players and coaches yelled to General Manager Jack Zduriencik warning him after infielder Vinnie Catricala hit a scorching line drive that nearly hit the golf cart Jack was riding in. This following a shot down the line that almost took out a group of photographers.
The Day: Day 5 was very similar to day 4, with pitchers taking PFP (Pitcher’s Fielding Practice), while half the pitchers had a throwing session in the bullpen. Starters Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan threw their third bullpen session, while a crowd of coaches and media stayed and watched pitchers Stephen Pryor, Erasmo Ramirez, Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton throw in the bullpen as well.
So far 60 of the 66 players invited to Major League camp have been spotted around the complex. The position players will officially report tomorrow for physicals, while the first full squad workout is on Saturday.
Infielder Vinnie Catricala impressed many of the coaches during his BP session this afternoon. Besides nearly taking of the GM and half the photographers watching, he was hitting the ball all over field. Looks like he is picking up exactly where he left off at the end of last year. Catricala was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year in 2011, after hitting .349 (182×521) with 101 runs scored, 77 extra-base (2B – 48, 3B – 4, HR – 25) and 106 RBI in 133 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. Among full season minor leaguers he ranked 2nd in extra-base hits, 3rd in hits, T3rd in doubles, T4th in batting average and T9th in RBI.
Tweet of the Day:
— Vinnie Catricala (@VinnieCatricala) February 15, 2012
Carlos Peguero wins the award for longest drive of the day. He launched a mammoth shot that hit the 32-foot-high batter’s eye in center field 410-feet away to highlight BP. Not sure if the ball bounced back to the field or got stuck in the chain-link fence.
A group of 35 of the Mariners top Minor League players are in camp today for physicals to take part in the team’s annual mini camp for many of top lower-level prospects. The first workout for mini-camp players is tomorrow and workouts will run through March 1. Mini-camp is an opportunity for players to receive one-on-one instruction from the coaching staff and work on improvement plans for Spring Training and the rest of the 2012 season. Among players taking part in the mini camp are highly regarded prospects right-handed pitchers Victor Sanchez and Carter Capps, catcher Marcus Littlewood, infielders Brad Miller and Cavan Cohoes and outfielders Guillermo Pimentel, Phillips Castillo and Jabari Blash.