Stock Up, Stock Down for Mariners' Top 10 Prospects for Week of May 20
After a tough week for the big league club, much focus has been placed on the future Mariners in the farm system and their performances.
As we learned Monday, the youth movement may only just be beginning. Per CBS Sports, former second overall pick Dustin Ackley was sent down to Tacoma, with top prospect Nick Franklin set to take his place with the big league club.
Utilizing the prospect rankings over at MLB.com, this list covers some Mariners who are still in the minor league system, as well as some who are contributing at the major league level already.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the stock report for the Seattle Mariners' minor league system.
1. Taijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker continues his dominance at Double-A Jackson, making a bigger case for himself everyday to be moved up to Triple-A Tacoma.
On the season, Walker is 3-5 with a 2.59 ERA and 63 strikeouts. Don't let the record fool you; Walker has been downright dominating at times. More importantly, Walker has been able to improve on his control, which was one of his biggest concerns coming into the season. Walker hasn't walked more than two batters in a start since April 25.
With all the moving and shaking going on in the Mariners system right now, it almost seems inevitable that Walker will be moving on to Tacoma sooner rather than later.
2. Danny Hultzen
Danny Hultzen remains on the shelf in Tacoma after suffering a shoulder injury back in April. Hultzen still remains a few weeks away from returning to action, which unfortunately derailed what seemed to be an inevitable call-up for Hultzen this season.
Most likely, Mariners fans will see Hultzen at some point this season, just not as early as some had hoped.
3. Mike Zunino
Mike Zunino continues his bizarre home and away splits on the season. Honestly, at this point there is no explanation for why Zunino continues to put up these splits.
On the road, Zunino has been a monster, putting together a .370/.429/.795 line with seven home runs and 28 RBI. However, Zunino continues to struggle mightily at home, batting .077 with one home run and eight RBI.
Zunino is most likely still on track for some playing time in September, but that will probably be all Mariners fans see of Zunino in Seattle this season.
4. Nick Franklin
As reported earlier, Nick Franklin was promoted to the big league club in place of Dustin Ackley who was sent down to Tacoma.
Franklin has been stellar all season, putting together a .324/.440/.472 line with four home runs, 20 RBI and seven stolen bases. Franklin will take the majority of the time at second base for the Mariners with Ackley down in Tacoma and will most likely also see some time at short to rest Brendan Ryan.
Franklin has succeeded at every level he has played at in his career, and Mariners fans are looking for him to continue his success at the major league level as well.
5. James Paxton
It seems like whenever James Paxton is ready to make the turn, he always winds up putting together a string of starts that shows he is still not ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
Paxton's last two starts have been rough, as he has allowed 10 earned runs in 10 innings. The toughest stat for Paxton all season has been his inability to keep his pitch count down. He has only been able to make it through six innings once this season, and if he wants to make it to the big leagues, he'll have to find a way to work deeper into games.
6. Brad Miller
Brad Miller recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma after Carlos Triunfel was called up to take the place of recently released Robert Andino.
Miller has been impressive since the get-go this season down in Double-A Jackson and will be given the chance to show his skills every day in Tacoma with both Triunfel and Franklin in Seattle.
This time in Tacoma will be important for Miller, especially with Brendan Ryan in the last year of his contract. If Miller can show he is ready to handle big league pitching, Mariners fans could expect to see some of Miller potentially as early as September.
7. Victor Sanchez
Victor Sanchez has been one of the best young pitching prospects the Mariners have this season, with the emphasis being on young.
Sanchez is only 18 years of age, but has been very successful in Class-A Clinton so far this season. He is 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched this season.
With as young as Sanchez is, it will be a while before Mariners fans actually see him any where near Seattle, but his success at such a young age is a very positive sign for the depth of the Mariners farm system.
8. Gabriel Guerrero
Gabriel Guerrero has been just that this season—a Guerrero.
Nephew of all-time great Vladimir Guerrero, Gabriel has been a free-swinger from the get-go down in Clinton. Through 162 at-bats for Guerrero this season, he has only seven walks as opposed to 41 strikeouts.
Guerrero has a long way to go, but the raw talent for the youngster is there. Over the last 10 games, he is hitting .314 to help raise his season average to .241. Guerrero is moving in the right direction and will hope to soon have the batting average to match the bloodline and the name he has to live up to.
9. Stefen Romero
Stefen Romero has been one of the best hitters in the Mariners organization over the last year, but has struggled to find the extra-base hits over the last 10 games in Tacoma.
Romero is batting .273 over the last 10 games, but every one of his hits has been a single. His slugging percentage is almost 80 points lower than his on-base percentage over that time period, which is suspicious for Romero, who has his fair share of pop in his bat.
This may be something to monitor for Romero over the next few weeks. For now, just chalk it up to a drought.
10. Tyler Pike
Tyler Pike has been solid for the Mariners so far down in Single-A Clinton. On the season, Pike is 3-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 39 strikeouts.
The big issues for Pike so far have been his control as he has issued 23 walks in only 42.1 innings pitched. His control issues were on full display in his last start, as he could not get out of the fifth inning. In that outing, Pike walked six batters while allowing two earned runs.
Pike has the athleticism to be a big league pitcher and has shown flashes of his potential. It's just a matter of when he can put it all together at once.