Seattle Mariners: Gold Rush of Pitching

This is a guest post by reader Nathan Adkins. If you are interested in contributing a guest post and having your work featured on MLB Injury News email

When the California Gold Rush began in 1848, people didn’t realize there would be another Gold Rush 165 years later, two states north in Seattle, Washington. The difference between the two is simple; one is gold nuggets while the other is phenomenal pitching prospects.

Danny Hultzen, Taijaun Walker, and James Paxton lead the Gold Rush in Seattle that’s ready to be put on display for everyone to awe at. Hultzen, who was the ACC Pitcher of the Year in 2009, struggled this past year at Triple-A. He shows major upside after a down year being ranked 4th best pitching prospect overall in the entire Minor League Baseball system.

Taijaun Walker is believed to be possibly the best pitcher in the minors. The command of his fastball and breaking balls has him coming in ranked 6th in overall rankings. The amazing fact about Walker is he’s only 20 years old, that factors into Walker being the next Justin Verlander ready to emerge. His 7-10 record at Double-A in 2012 may not be Cy Young numbers but being 19 years old, making the jump that quick is remarkable.

Finally there’s James Paxton ready to breakout. He’s ranked as the 25th best pitching prospect and 5th overall left-handed pitcher. The 6’ 4” tall, 24-year-old has compiled a 12-4 record with a smooth 2.72 ERA the last two years at Double-A. While he could see time with the Mariners this year, one would think he will be stationed in Triple-A along with Walker and Hultzen.

With Hultzen and Walker being first round selections and Paxton picked up in the fourth round, Seattle has been making very important and wise drafting selections. With these three on the rise and King Felix already with the Mariners, this system seems to be making a push to be more than a serious contender. Also, they have catcher Mike Zunino climbing his way up through the Minors; Seattle is set with a wonderful pitching and catching duo for the future. The question is when these three pitchers will arrive. The number 2 – 5 projected starters in Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and Hector Noesi possibly for the Mariners in 2013 not including the young three has combined to win 30 MLB games in their careers.

While waiting on Seattle to be successful may be hard for Mariners fan, just be patient a bit longer. The Gold Rush that hit California is getting ready to hit the Mariners’ pitching staff in years to come with this being an even greater jackpot.

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