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Taijuan Walker is a young right-hander who some day could either join Felix Hernandez in the M's starting rotation or be given the unenviable task of replacing King Felix.
It's almost unfair to put such weighty expectations on the shoulders of someone still at Double-A and won't turn 20 for another few days. Yet, for an organization in need of a boost, he's arguably the prospect with the highest ceiling who people could be talking about years from now.
Yes, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton are talented, but Walker is the guy who could some day have his own cheering section at Safeco Field.
Part of me was worried the M's would consider packaging him at the deadline for someone like Justin Upton, but for now, Walker is still a Mariner.
Will he or anyone else on this list be great?
Unfortunately, far too many players on this list come with serious question marks once you look past the "Big Three," especially the position players.
So while the M's always seem to have an endless number of arms at their disposal, they still sorely lack hitting from top to bottom throughout the organization, unless you wish to put stock in the numbers from players at Single-A High Desert in the California League.
I for one can't, otherwise I'd have put this guy on the list hoping someday he'd return to form.
For baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest, it's hard enough to see the current team of big leaguers flail night after night at the plate (yes, I know they've won six straight), but knowing that help really isn't on the way is downright depressing.
Wait 'til next year seems hard to believe or even a year or two after that for that matter.
With the trade deadline now past, the chance for the M's to add another meaningful bat to their farm system has come and gone once again with little or nothing to show for it.
I'd like to offer greater comfort to Mariners fans beyond vague scouting reports and empty hopes and dreams, but I'd be lying to you and wasting your time. The truth is, Taijuan Walker is the only player on this list worth betting on and someday he can only help twice a week at most.
That said, I really do hope Mike Zunino and the rest of the players on this list prove me wrong. It would certainly prove to be a nice change of pace from the usual over the past decade.