The Seattle Mariners have a number of exciting prospects in the farm system, and fans can’t wait to see which of them will become future stars. Could some of them be promoted soon?
Obviously, the term “prospect” can get a little broader in definition once players are brought up to the big leagues. In many ways, they remain prospects until they establish themselves on the roster.
Otherwise, a bad week of play could earn the struggling player a trip back to the minors.
As certain members of the 25-man roster struggle, there will be increased attention paid to the performances of key farmhands. Here is a review of how some of the top prospects performed in the second week of the season.
The top prospect in the Seattle farm system had one start in week two, pitching five innings and giving up three runs on four hits. Walker struck out five and walked two.
Perhaps Taijuan Walker will make his way to Triple-A soon, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Mariners were hesitant to rush a guy who is regarded as a future ace.
Walker is still only 20 years old and represents a key part of the future.
Danny Hultzen also had one start in week two, as the talented left-hander picked up a win in Tacoma. Hultzen gave up three runs on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out six and walked one.
Given his position in the organization and his age, it would not be shocking to see Hultzen promoted at some point in the near future. In week one, Hultzen went six innings, gave up one run and struck out eight.
He may soon be heading to Seattle.
Nick Franklin hit almost .300 during week two, with five hits in 17 at-bats. The versatile infielder continues to play at Tacoma and hope for a call-up at some point this season.
What is interesting about Franklin is that he is still splitting time between shortstop and second base. Neither Brendan Ryan nor Dustin Ackley are hitting particularly well this season, so there may eventually be an incentive to move Franklin up.
If Franklin continues to swing the bat, Seattle may need to make a move.
Mike Zunino has had a hot start to the season, as the young catcher did very well over the first weekend and into week two. Over a three-game stretch from April 6-9, Zunino hit three home runs and drove in 13 runs.
Through the second week of the season, Zunino is hitting .333 with four home runs and 18 RBI. Will the hot hitting continue?
The challenge with Zunino is that there may not be a place for him on the roster in Seattle. Unless Jesus Montero moves out from behind the plate or Kendrys Morales moves to first, Zunino may need to wait.
James Paxton pitched on April 12, taking the loss for the Tacoma Rainiers. He lasted 4.2 innings and gave up five runs on four hits. Paxton struck out six and walked three.
In general, Paxton has been adequate but not spectacular in two starts this season. The lefty prospect is now 0-1 with 6.23 ERA for the year.
Not a great week for the Mariners prospect.
Stephen Pryor is one of the two top-10 prospects who are currently on the 25-man roster in Seattle. It is fair to suggest that Pryor is doing very well.
From April 10-12, Pryor made three straight appearances. Over those three games, he pitched 2.2 innings, gave up three hits and struck out four batters.
On April 14, Pryor racked up two more strikeouts against the Texas Rangers and did not give up a hit. He has maintained a 0.00 ERA for the season.
Carter Capps is the other top prospect who currently has a locker at Safeco Field. Unfortunately for Capps, he did not have a great second week.
In two appearances, Capps pitched 2.2 innings. He gave up five runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three batters.
On April 10, Capps served up two home runs in an 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros.
Not a great week.
There are good weeks, bad weeks and fairly average weeks. Vinnie Catricala had a good week at Double-A Jackson, though he is still hitting only .207 for the season.
Catricala went 4-for-10 from April 10-12 with no home runs and one RBI. He walked once and did not strike out over that span.
It has been an up-and-down year for Catricala, as he had a slow start in the first week of the season.
Brad Miller is off to a good start this season, as the Double-A prospect is hitting .400 through nine games. His best game was in week two, when he went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
Over a three-game stretch from April 10-12, Miller went 7-for-10 with a home run, two RBI and two stolen bases. Needless to say, Miller is getting more comfortable in week two.
If Miller can keep up this hot hitting, he may find himself promoted soon.
Call it a solid but unspectacular week for Stefen Romero. The Single-A second baseman went 3-for-10 with two RBI and two bases on balls.
Romero is on the top prospect list, but it may be some time before he starts making a serious run at a major league job. It will be interesting to see where he can climb to by the end of the season.
There is certainly a player or two ahead of him.