Results tagged ‘ Taijuan Walker ’

Hultzen & Walker Selected to Futures Game Roster

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.

Danny Hultzen

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.

Taijuan Walker

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

1999:
Chris Mears, RHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)

2000:
Craig Anderson, LHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)

2001:
Joel Pineiro, RHP (World)
Jamal Strong, OF (USA)

2002:
Jose Lopez, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)

2003:
Clint Nageotte, RHP (USA)
Travis Blackley, LHP (World)

2004:
Jeremy Reed, OF (USA)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)
Felix Hernandez, RHP (World)

2005:
Yuniesky Betancourt, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)

2006:
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Yung Chi Chen, INF (World)

2007:
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Michael Saunders, OF (World)

2008:
Phillippe Aumont, RHP (World)

2009:
Tyson Gillies, OF (World)
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)

2010:
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)
Carlos Peguero, OF (World)

2011:
Alex Liddi, OF (World)
James Paxton, LHP (World)

2012:
Danny Hultzen, LHP (USA)
Taijuan Walker, RHP (USA)

Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 10

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.

Not a bad 6-day forecast for the next few days of spring training.

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.

Eric Wedge announced following today's workout that Ichiro will bat No. 3 in the batting order this season.

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:

Birthday Boys:
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 Day:
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.

RHP Taijuan Walker threw live batting practice to Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins and Munenori Kawasaki.

Photo Day:
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.

National Media:
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.

Veteran scribes Larry LaRue (left) and Greg Johns (right) are also known to pick up a camera during spring training.

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- JE

Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 5

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.

Vinnie Catricala

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:

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.

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- KM

Mariners Listed On More Top Prospect Lists

We have already updated you on a few prospect lists that came out leading up to the 2012 season, including Baseball America and MLB.com.

Much like the college football polls, there are a lot of these, and it can get confusing, but we wanted to pass along a few more to get you excited for the upcoming baseball season.

Baseball Prospectus unveiled their Top 101 Prospects today, and four Mariners were listed:

  • C Jesus Montero (#7)
  • RHP Taijuan Walker (#14)
  • LHP Danny Hultzen (#35)
  • LHP James Paxton (#59)

Additionally, author Kevin Goldstein noted on his Twitter feed that infielder Nick Franklin would also likely be included in the top 125 players.

Jesus Montero is listed as a consensus top prospect heading into the 2012 season. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

ESPN.com and Keith Law also unveiled their annual Top 100 prospects (hidden behind ESPN’s pay wall), with five Mariners listed among the top 100.

  • C Jesus Montero (#9)
  • RHP Taijuan Walker (#24)
  • LHP Danny Hultzen (#30)
  • LHP James Paxton (#51)
  • INF Nick Franklin (#57)

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has a nice write-up on the ESPN.com piece in his Hot Stone League Blog.

- JE

FanFest Photo Gallery – Day 2

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Photo Credits: Ben VanHouten/Seattle Mariners

Mariners FanFest Social Media Central

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.

Follow @Mariners on Twitter, and use hashtag #MarinersFF, like us on Facebook, and check the blog for updates on what’s happening behind the scenes. We’ll update frequently.

We’ll also be live streaming the Dugout Dialogue sessions from FanFest all day Saturday and Sunday on Mariners.com.

Saturday – Social Media Schedule:

Time Personnel Event
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

Time Personnel Event
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

- RH

Baseball America Cover Boy – Taijuan Walker

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.

Taijuan Walker is on the cover of Baseball America.

And Taijuan was a guest on Sports Radio KJR this morning talking about his goals for the 2012 season and his visit to Seattle this weekend for FanFest.

Here are the Mariners Top 10 Prospects, as well as the publications listing for the Best Mariners Tools:

  1. Jesus Montero, c
  2. Taijuan Walker, rhp
  3. Danny Hultzen, lhp
  4. James Paxton, lhp
  5. Nick Franklin, 2b/ss
  6. Francisco Martinez, 3b
  7. Chance Ruffin, rhp
  8. Tom Wilhelmsen, rhp
  9. Vinnie Catricala, 3b/1b/of
  10. 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

- JE

Mariners Invite 9 Organizational Players to Spring Training

Today, we announced that 9 organizational players have been invited to Major League Spring Training. These players are in addition to the 16 players the Mariners have signed as minor league free agents. So, as of right now, the spring training roster consists of 65 players. Here is the Mariners current 40-Man Roster with spring training invites.

Here are the 9 Mariners minor league players that will participate in Major League Spring Training:

  • RHP Taijuan Walker
  • LHP James Paxton
  • INF Nick Franklin
  • OF Vinnie Catricala
  • RHP Erasmo Ramirez
  • RHP Stephen Pryor
  • RHP Forrest Snow
  • C Jesus Sucre
  • C Ralph Henriquez

There are a few names on here that fans will be very excited to see roaming the upper fields in Peoria.

The list includes seven of the Mariners top 20 prospects for the 2012 season as listed by Baseball America, including Taijuan Walker (#2), James Paxton (#4), Nick Franklin (#5), Vinnie Catricala (#9), Erasmo Ramirez (#13), Stephen Pryor (#15) and Forrest Snow (#19). Additional top 30 prospects C Jesus Montero (#1), LHP Danny Hultzen (#3), RHP Chance Ruffin (#7), RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (#8), INF Alex Liddi (#14), OF Chih-Hsien Chiang (#24), INF Carlos Triunfel (#25), LHP Mauricio Robles (#26) and OF Johermyn Chavez (#28) are on the 40-man roster.

Additionally, the Mariners had five players named among MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects:

  • 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, and ranked 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).

Walker, 19, was named the Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011 going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA (31 ER, 96.2 IP) with A Clinton. He was recently named the No. 8 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com. Walker was originally selected by Seattle in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) in the 2010 June Draft.

Paxton, 23, was recently named the No. 8 left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com (Hultzen was No. 3). He made his debut in 2011 combining to go 6-3 with a 2.37 ERA (25 ER, 95.0 IP) in 17 starts with A Clinton and AA Jackson. Overall, he ranked 2nd in the minors with 12.41 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (131 SO). Paxton signed with the Mariners last March after being selected in the 4th round of the 2010 June Draft.

Franklin, 20, also garnered attention from MLB.com as the No. 6 shortstop prospect. Despite missing an extended period of time in 2011 with a concussion, Franklin still hit .281 (99×352) with 64 runs scored, 13 doubles, 7 triples, 7 home runs and 26 RBI with the AZL Mariners, High Desert and Jackson. He capped his 2011 season being named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game. In 2010 he was one of only three minor leaguers to turn in a 20 HR-20 SB season (23 HR, 25 SB). Franklin was selected by Seattle in the first round (27th overall) in the 2009 June Draft.

Catricala, 23, was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 combining to bat .349 (182×521) with 101 runs, 48 doubles, 4 triples, 25 home runs and 106 RBI in 133 games with A High Desert and AA Jackson. Among full season minor leaguers he ranked 2nd in extra base hits (77), 3rd in hits, T3rd in doubles, T4th in batting average and T9th in RBI. Catricala was selected by the Mariners in the 10th round of the 2009 June Draft out of the University of Hawai’i.

Ramirez, 21, combined to go 10-8 with a 4.83 ERA (82 ER, 152.2 IP) in 26 starts with Jackson and Tacoma. Ramirez is 35-14, 3.10 in his minor league career (79 G/73 GS), including being named the 2009 Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 11-1, 0.51 as a 19-year-old with the Venezuelan Summer League Mariners.

Pryor, 22, combined for 10 saves with High Desert and Jackson last season. The hard-throwing right-hander averaged 11.05 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 39 relief appearances. He was originally selected by Seattle in the 5th round of the 2010 June Draft out of Tennessee Tech University.

Snow, 23, went 5-12 with a 5.09 ERA (81 ER, 143.1 IP) in 28 appearances (21 GS) split between Clinton, High Desert and Tacoma. The University of Washington product led the Arizona Fall League with a 1.10 ERA (2 ER, 16.1 IP). Snow was originally selected in the 36th round of the 2010 June Draft.

Sucre, 23, split time between AA affiliates with Atlanta (Mississippi) and Seattle (Jackson) organizations last season. He combined to throw out 31 of 60 attempted base stealers (51.7%).

Henriquez, 24, saw action in 80 games last season with High Desert, Jackson and Tacoma. He was originally selected by Houston in the 2nd round of the 2005 June Draft and signed with Seattle as a minor league free agent on Dec. 11, 2009.

5 Mariners Among Top 100 Prospects

We blogged earlier today that MLB.com and MLB Network would unveil their top 100 prospects.

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.

- JE

MLB Network: Top Prospects List Unveiled Tonight

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.

Here’s a video of John Hart and Jonathan Mayo as they preview MLB Network’s unveiling of the top prospects list.

RHP Taijuan Walker was named the Midwest League's Top Prospect by Baseball America (Photo by Bill Mitchell).

- FA

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