Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today the following roster moves:
- Patrick Kivlehan, INF, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Boog Powell, OF, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Danny Hultzen, LHP, designated for assignment.
The Mariners Major League 40-man roster is now full.
Kivlehan, 25, hit .256 (121×472) with 58 runs, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 22 home runs, 73 RBI, 36 walks and 14 stolen bases in 123 games in his first full season with AAA Tacoma. He participated for the U.S.A. in the Pan Am Games, hitting .342 with a team-leading 3 home runs. He led the Rainiers in games played (123), while also finishing among the team leaders in home runs (T1st/22), doubles (2nd, 25), RBI (3rd, 73), hits (3rd, 121) and walks (3rd, 36). His 22 home runs ranked T7th in the Pacific Coast League. Kivlehan appeared in games at 6 different positions: first base (30 G/26 GS), third base (26 G/23 GS), left field (48 G/46 GS), center field (11 G/9 GS), right field (13 G/11 GS) and designated hitter (7 GS).
Kivlehan was the Mariners 4th round selection in the 2012 Amateur Draft out of Rutgers University. In four minor league seasons in the Mariners organization, he has hit .288 (507×1762) with 262 runs, 99 doubles, 16 triples, 70 home runs, 318 RBI, 54 stolen bases, a .352 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage in 461 games.
Powell, 22, was acquired by the Mariners as part of a six-player trade along with RHP Nathan Karns and LHP C.J. Riefenhauser from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 1B Logan Morrison, INF/OF Brad Miller and RHP Danny Farquhar on November 5. He hit .295 (131×444) with 66 runs scored, 16 doubles, 9 triples, 3 home runs, 40 RBI, 61 walks, 18 stolen bases and a .385 on-base percentage combined between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2015. Powell began the season with Montgomery and was named to the 2015 Southern League All-Star team. Overall with the Biscuits, he hit .328 (78×238) with 44 runs scored, 6 doubles, 6 triples, 1 home run, 22 RBI, 29 walks, 11 stolen bases and a .408 on-base percentage in 61 games. At the time of his promotion to Durham on June 26, Powell ranked among the Southern League leaders in average (3rd, .328), hits (3rd, 78), runs scored, (T3rd, 44) and on-base percentage (4th, .408). Over 56 games with Durham, Powell hit .257 (53×206) with 22 run scored, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 18 RBI.
Powell was originally selected by Oakland in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Orange Coast College. He was traded from the Athletics along with C John Jaso, INF Daniel Roberson and cash considerations to Tampa Bay in in exchange for SS Yunel Escobar and INF/OF Ben Zobrist on January 10, 2015. Over four seasons in the minor leagues, he batted .308 (333x1082ss) with 170 runs scored, 34 doubles, 17 triples, 6 home runs, 95 RBI, 163 walks and 53 stolen bases in 294 games. In his career has a .401 on-base percentage, including a .451 on-base percentage in 2014 that was 2nd-best in the minor leagues.
Hultzen, 25, went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER, 8.0 IP) in 3 starts with AA Jackson. He began the season on the disabled list and was reactivated on May 1. He made 3 starts with Jackson before being placed on the disabled list on May 26 for the remainder of the season with a left rotator cuff strain. In four years (three seasons) in the Mariners organization, he was 14-9 with a 2.84 ERA (53 ER, 167.2 IP) with 186 strikeouts in 35 starts. He missed the entire 2014 season recovering from left shoulder surgery on Oct. 1, 2013 to clean up his labrum, a partial tear of the rotator cuff and repaired a capsule. Hultzen was selected by the Mariners in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA).
The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Hultzen’s contract to the minors.
A few quick updates before the Mariners open an 8-game, 10-day, 3-team homestand tonight vs. the Oakland Athletics…
- The Mariners had two draft picks, 2nd-rounder Austin Wilson and 13th-rounder Lachlan Fontaine, at the ballpark to sign their professional contracts. Wilson and Fontaine put on a power display during early batting practice, with both players hitting several home runs. Wilson will report to the Everett AquaSox and Fontaine to the Peoria Mariners to begin their pro careers. Good luck to both!
- Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been promoted to AAA Tacoma and is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start Tuesday vs. the Fresno Grizzlies at Cheney Stadium. Walker went 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA (23 ER, 84.0 IP) with 96 strikeouts in 14 starts for AA Jackson in the Southern League. Walker was the Mariners first selection (43rd overall) in the 2010 June Amateur Draft out of Yucaipa (CA) High School. In four minor league seasons he has combined to go 18-23 with a 3.46 ERA in 61 games/57 starts. He entered this season rated by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect, and No. 2 pitching prospect.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that Danny Hultzen (out since late April with a rotator cuff strain) is scheduled to start and throw 5.0 innings for the Peoria Mariners tomorrow in the Arizona League. If all goes well, he could return to the Tacoma rotation following that. Pretty cool to think the Rainiers starting 5 could be Brandon Maurer, Erasmo Ramirez, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker.
In 2012 the Mariners nine minor league affiliated put together one of the best seasons in club history, combing for a 496-406 (.550) record. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins (496) and winning percentage (.550), while also setting a new record for most win in a single season my any organization. Various publications have rated the Mariners farm systems as one of the best in baseball.
The Mariners looks to continue their winning ways throughout the minor leagues as well as get players ready to make the jump to the Major League level. The Mariners triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers roster boasts four of the top five prospects in the Mariners farm system, as ranked by Baseball America. Catcher Mike Zunino (No. 1), pitchers Danny Hultzen (No. 3) and James Paxton (No. 4), and infielder Nick Franklin (No. 5) all sit atop BA’s list entering the 2013 season.
Catcher Mike Zunino is off to a hot start with Tacoma this season. In 6 games with the Rainiers, Zunino is batting .385 (10×26) with 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs and 17 RBI. He currently leads the Minor Leagues with 17 RBI, T1st with 8 extra-base hits, while ranking as one of only 6 players in the Minor Leagues to have hit at least 4 home runs this season. The 2012 first round draft pick ranks 2nd in the PCL in extra-base hits (8) and slugging percentage (1.038), while ranking 3rd with 27 total bases. Zunino became the first Rainiers player since second baseman Dustin Ackley (7/15/10 at Reno) to have his first triple-A hit go for a home run on April 4 at Fresno.
LH Danny Hultzen has earned wins in each of his first two starts with the Rainiers, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA (3 ER, 11.0 IP). He has limited opponents to a .167 (7×42) average, while walking 3 and striking out 14. His 14 strikeouts currently lead all Mariners farmhands, while ranking 3rd overall in the Pacific Coast League.
OF Eric Thames is one of 6 players in the PCL to hit safely in each of the first 8 games. He is currently batting .424 (14×33) with 5 runs scored, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 stolen base and 4 walks. Thames ranks 11th in the league in average, and he is tied for the team lead with 4 multi-hit games.
The Rainiers open the home portion of their schedule tonight with a four-game series against the Salt Lake City Bees at Cheney Stadium. Tonight’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. PT with LH James Paxton (0-0, 4.50) making his 2nd career triple-A start and first at Cheney Stadium. Tacoma is currently 5-3 and trails Salt Lake by one game PCL Northern Division.
Well, the votes are in, and five Mariners have been named to the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects List. The impressive haul of Mariners includes three players listed in the top 25 and four in the top 50. Here are the Mariners named to the Top 100 list:
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#5)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#18)
- C Mike Zunino (#23)
- INF Nick Franklin (#47)
- LHP James Paxton (#61)
And for the second consecutive season the Mariners organization received the most “Prospect Points”
Mariners pitchers Danny Hultzen and James Paxton have both been named among the top 5 left-handed pitching prospects heading into the 2013 season. Hultzen checked in at No. 2 on the list, while Paxton was No. 5 in the annual MLB.com Prospect Position Rankings.
Here is what MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo had to say about Hultzen and Paxton:
2. Danny Hultzen, Mariners: Hultzen signed an $8.5 million Major League contract after being picked second in the 2011 Draft by Seattle. Thought to be an advanced college pitcher who could move up quickly, he’s done just that, reaching Triple-A in his first season of pro ball. A 2012 Futures Game participant, the lefty out of the University of Virginia dominated in Double-A but then had serious control issues in Triple-A. If he can fix those problems – and he was known as a command guy coming out of college – his three-pitch mix should work nicely in the big leagues.
5. James Paxton, Mariners: Paxton was taken in the fourth round in the 2010 Draft by Seattle, though he didn’t sign until March 2011. He reached Double-A that season and spent all of 2012 at that level. A 2011 Futures Gamer and 2012 Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game participant, there has never been any question about the Canadian’s pure power stuff, especially his fastball and breaking ball. That’s allowed him to strike out more than 10.5 per nine innings in two years in the Minors. Some thought he might eventually end up in the bullpen, but an improved changeup and better command could make him a formidable starter.
Here is a video clip from MLB.com featuring Hultzen:
Hultzen and Paxton join RHP Taijuan Walker, who was listed as the No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect. The full list of positional prospect rankings and their release dates are below:
• Right-handed pitchers
• Left-handed pitchers
• Jan. 23 – Catchers
• Jan. 24 – Shortstops
• Jan. 25 – Third Basemen
• Jan. 26 – Second basemen
• Jan. 27 – First basemen
• Jan. 28 – Outfielders
• Jan. 29 – Top 100 Prospects
The Mariners nine minor league affiliates wrapped up the 2012 season putting together one of the best season in club history, combining for a 496-406 (.550) record. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins and winning percentage, while setting a new record for most wins in a single season. This has led to optimism in the Mariners pipeline, as Seattle has one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Baseball America unveiled their annual Top 10 Prospects list ranking the top Mariners in the minor leagues.
Baseball America’s Top 10 Mariners Prospects:
1. Mike Zunino, c
2. Taijuan Walker, rhp
3. Danny Hultzen, lhp
4. James Paxton, lhp
5. Nick Franklin, ss/2b
6. Brandon Maurer, rhp
7. Carter Capps, rhp
8. Stefen Romero, 2b
9. Brad Miller, ss
10. Victor Sanchez, rhp
Catcher Mike Zunino, selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player draft, quickly established himself as an offensive and defensive force and was ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners No. 1 prospect. In his first professional season, Zunino hit .360 (58×151) with 35 runs scored, 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 44 combined between Short-A Everett and AA Jackson.
The Mariners had six pitchers ranked in the top 10, including five of the top seven prospects. For the second straight year, right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker (#2) was tabbed as the Mariners top pitching prospect. In only his third professional season, Walker, 20, was one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League and was also named to the North Division All-Star Team. Left-handed pitchers Danny Hultzen (#3) and James Paxton (#4), joined right-handed pitchers Brandon Maurer (#6), Carter Capps (#7) and Victor Sanchez (#10) to round out the Mariners top pitching prospects. After being in the minor leagues less than a year, Capps made his Major League debut on Aug. 3, 2012 and became only the third player from the 2011 First-Year Players draft to make his ML debut. Hultzen, Maurer and Paxton each ranked amongst the Mariners organization leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts, while Sanchez at age 17 was the youngest player in the top 10.
While the Mariners are known for their top pitching prospects, it was their offensive numbers that really stood out in 2012. Amongst all full-season minor league clubs, the Mariners affiliates finished in the top 5 in nearly every offensive category, including ranking first in hits, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Infielders Nick Franklin (#5), Stefen Romero (#8) and Brad Miller (#9) joined Zunino as the Mariners position players in the organizations top 10 rankings. Romero was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year after batting .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 64 extra-base hits and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between High-A High Desert and AA Jackson. Franklin was recently named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospect Team, while Miller ranked second amongst all Minor Leaguers with 186 hits.
Prior to the 2012 season, the Mariners farm system was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 1 organization based on their prospect points system, with five players rated in the top 100. After a record 496 wins by the Mariners 9 minor league affiliates, and 6 playoff berths, the Mariners remained the top team when MLB.com re-ranked the top 100 and each club’s top 20 prospects.
Here is an article by Mariners.com beat writer Greg Johns detailing the impressive group of prospects:
The updated rankings show the Mariners ranking first among all 30 MLB teams based on point values assigned to each of the top 100 prospects, just ahead of the Pirates, D-backs and Cardinals.
Top Prospect Points 1. Seattle 327 2. Pittsburgh 326 3. Arizona 321 4. St. Louis 320 5. Toronto 281
The following Mariners ranked in the top 100 by MLB.com (prospect ranking):
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#5)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#9)
- INF Nick Franklin (#31)
- C Mike Zunino (#51)
- LHP James Paxton (#82)
And here are the players included in the Mariners top 20 prospects list by MLB.com: