Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Danny Hultzen could still reach the majors, but his future his up in the air after a devastating labrum injury.
These players have the talent to make the big leagues in the near future, but are either raw or being held back by other concerns.
Danny Hultzen, SP
There’s no doubt Hultzen has the stuff to be a successful middle-of-the-rotation pitcher in the big leagues. Hultzen posted an excellent 22.0 K-BB percentage and a 2.05 ERA in six starts in Triple-A last season and seemed poised to join the Mariners sometime in 2013 before a series of injuries delayed his major league aspirations.
What started as a mild shoulder concern turned into a devastating injury, and he's out for the entire 2014 season after undergoing labrum surgery. He could get a shot in late 2015 if fully recovered, but Hultzen’s future is a major question mark as of now.
Austin Wilson, OF
The Mariners selected Wilson in the second round of the 2013 draft and have seen him progress well since. After a nice season in Low-A last year, he has moved to Single-A Clinton and is hitting .274 with five home runs to begin 2014.
Wilson might be the most exciting outfielder in the Mariners system, but there are a few more major league-ready players who will reach Seattle before him. Look out for Wilson in 2016.
Tyler Pike, SP
If this list was made at the beginning of the year, Pike would have certainly made it, but he has struggled at the High-A level in 2014. Pike’s 4.88 ERA at hitter’s paradise High Desert isn’t too concerning, but his walk rate of 16.2 percent is.
Pike talked to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times about the challenge that High Desert presents.
It’s been a little rough. I’m just trying to get used to everything. It’s a tough league to pitch in. I’d been struggling.
I knew coming that this is not a fun place for pitchers to be. And I think I was just trying a little bit too hard to do everything. ... I was trying not to miss over the middle and I was trying to pick at corners and I would end getting myself in trouble, falling behind and walking guys.
Pike has turned it around to an extent recently and will hopefully move up a level soon enough. He is definitely still part of the Mariners’ future rotation and might possess the best changeup in Seattle’s minor league organization
But the Mariners hoped Pike would be in Double-A by now, and he has likely fallen behind Victor Sanchez as a result. He’ll battle for a rotation spot in 2016.