Tagged: Taijuan Walker

Mariners Mondays – Taijuan Walker Impresses

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On this week’s Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS Taijuan Walker shows why he’s one of the most promising young pitchers in baseball.

On May 29, Walker turned in one of the best starts of his career with a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. He gave up just two hits over eight innings, did not walk a batter and struck out eight for his first victory at Safeco Field. A two-run homer by outfielder Seth Smith was all the offense the Mariners would need to give Walker his second win of the season.

Two months later, Walker was even better as he tossed a one-hitter at Target Field for a 6-1 win over the Twins on July 31. It was his first complete game in 29 Major League starts and it was a crucial bounce-back for Walker, who had yielded 19 runs in his previous four starts. Nelson Cruz and Jesus Montero both homered to give the Mariners a 6-1 win. The game was also the Major League debut of Ketel Marte, who batted leadoff and played second.

Mariners Mondays airs every Monday night on ROOT SPORTS through March leading up to the season opener on Monday April 4 at Texas.

Mariners Mondays – Back-to-Back Shutouts

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On this week’s Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS two young Mariners pitchers deliver back-to-back shutouts.

Mike Montgomery gave the San Diego Padres “The Full Monty” on June 30 as he tossed a complete game, 5-0 win. He carried a no-hitter into the 7th and settled for a one-hitter after giving up a one-out ground rule double. It was Montgomery’s second consecutive shutout in only his sixth Big League start. With that feat, he joined such elite company as Randy Johnson, who did it three times with the Mariners, and Mark Langston, who did it twice.

The next night, July 1, Taijuan Walker matched Montgomery’s brilliance with his own one-hit wonder through six innings as the Mariners romped over the Padres 7-0. Walker matched Padres starter James Shields, who held the Mariners hitless through three and scoreless until the top of the 6th. Walker pitched through the 6th, and left with a 1-0 lead. That was all he would need for his seventh win, as Robinson Canó and Nelson Cruz led a nine hit attack on Shields and three members of the Padres bullpen.

Mariners Mondays airs every Monday night on ROOT SPORTS through March leading up to the season opener on Monday April 4 at Texas.

Mariners Top Prospects Rankings

Taijuan Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts with the Mariners last season.

Taijuan Walker is the Mariners top prospect according to Baseball America.

Well, it is that time of year, when spring training is right around the corner and prospect rankings have hit the internet.

We already shared the top prospects as listed by FanGraphs.com and listed the Mariners players in MLBPipeline.com’s Top 10 at each position:

  • Taijuan Walker – No. 2 right-handed pitcher
  • D.J. Peterson – No. 8 third baseman
  • Tyler Marlette – No. 10 catcher

MLB.com recently came out with their annual Top 100 Prospect Rankings with Walker (No. 6) and Peterson (No. 88) making the list. Here is an article by Mariners.com beat writer Greg Johns on Walker and Peterson.

Baseball America also came out with their annual survey of the Mariners top prospects, and published this list:

MARINERS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

And lastly, BaseballProspects.com published their annual Top 101 prospect listTaijuan Walker was the highest rated pitching prospect checking in at No. 8 on the list. Third baseman D.J. Peterson (#65) and LHP James Paxton (#68) also made the list.

Mariners Mondays – Welcome to the Show, Taijuan Walker

2014 Mariners Mondays - Ep 3Tonight’s episode of Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS looks back on pitcher Taijuan Walker’s first three MLB games.

Walker, widely considered the Mariners most promising pitching prospect, made his Major League debut August 30 against the Houston Astros. Pitching in front of about 40 family members, Walker did them proud. He did not allow an earned run over five innings, and with the help of Dustin Ackley’s career best four hits and four RBI, the Mariners topped the Astros 7-1. With that win, Walker became the youngest Mariners starting pitcher (21 years, 17 days) to pick up a victory in his Major League Debut.

Walker’s next start September 4, against the Kansas City Royals was a test of his abilities. He did not allow a hit over the first three innings, but gave up four runs in the fourth inning. Walker returned to the mound in the fifth for a 1-2-3 inning. The bullpen held the Royals long enough for Kendrys Morales to hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth for the Mariners 6-4 win.

Start number three came September 9, again against the Houston Astros, this time at Safeco Field. Walker was in control this time giving up two runs and striking out eight over five innings. On a closely monitored pitch-count, Walker yielded to the bullpen, who held onto the lead until the ninth inning when Danny Farquhar gave up four runs, giving the Astros a 6-4 win.

Taijuan Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts with the Mariners last season.

Taijuan Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 3 starts with the Mariners last season.

Walker was shut down for the season after his third start, leaving fans anxious to see what he can do in the 2014 season. Heading into Spring Training, Walker is tentatively slated to be a member of the Mariners starting rotation.

Mariners Mondays Episode 3 airs Monday, January 20, beginning at 7:30 pm, right after Mariners All-Access.

Mariners Mondays episodes will air on ROOT SPORTS during the offseason and Spring Training, building to the March 31 season opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

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Taijuan Walker Named MLB.com’s No. 2 Right-Handed Pitching Prospect

Right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker.

Right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker.

MLBPipeline.com’s 2014 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 23, on MLB.com, as well as during a one-hour show on MLB Network airing at 7 pm PT. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball’s Top 10 prospects at each position.

The top 10 right-handed pitching prospects were announced today, and the Mariners Taijuan Walker is listed No. 2 on the list. Here is what MLB.com had to say about Taijuan:

Taijuan Walker, Mariners: Walker became the youngest Mariners pitcher to win his debut when he beat the Astros on Aug. 30, two weeks after he turned 21. More of a basketball star and shortstop early in his high school career, he has been a quick study on the mound. Of course, it helps that Walker is a supreme athlete with a mid-90s fastball, and his secondary pitches (cutter, changeup, curveball) are coming along.

Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA (6 ER, 15.0 IP) in three starts with the Mariners last season as a 21-year-old. He was named the Mariners Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year after combining to go 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 25 starts with AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma.

Baseball Prospectus Unveils Mariners Top 10

It is that time of year where the top prospect lists start to come out. Baseball Prospectus chimes in with their Mariners Top 10 this morning with an in-depth analysis of the Mariners Farm System. While the complete run-down is available only to subscribers (which is a great resource for baseball fans), here is the top 10 list and a peak at the detailed profiles of Taijuan Walker and D.J. Peterson. We’ll post additional prospect news/lists when Baseball America, MLB.com and any others publish their rankings.

Baseball Prospectus – Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects

by Jason Parks

Prospect rankings primer
Last year’s Mariners list

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Taijuan Walker
  2. 1B D.J. Peterson
  3. LHP James Paxton
  4. RHP Victor Sanchez
  5. RHP Edwin Diaz
  6. LHP Luiz Gohara
  7. SS Chris Taylor
  8. LHP Tyler Pike
  9. Tyler Marlette
  10. OF Gabriel Guerrero

1. Taijuan Walker
Position: RHP
DOB: 08/13/1992
Height/Weight: 6’4” 210 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2010 draft, Yucaipa HS (Yucaipa, CA)
Previous Ranking: #1 (Org), #9 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: ERA 3.60 (15 IP, 11 H, 12 K, 4 BB) at major league level, 3.61 ERA (57.1 IP, 54 H, 64 K, 27 BB) at Triple-A Tacoma, 2.46 ERA (84 IP, 58 H, 96 K, 30 BB) at Double-A Jackson
The Tools: 7 FB; 7 CT; 5 CB; future 5 CH

What Happened in 2013: Walker started at the Double-A level and finished his season with three starts at the major-league level, displaying not only high-level stuff but also the necessary makeup to stand on a major-league mound as a 21-year-old.

Strengths: Electric fastball from easy release; works in the 94-96 range; can get more when he needs more; good movement to the arm side; cutter is a monster pitch; 89-93 with late horizontal movement to the glove side; curveball has big depth in the 73-76 range; average but effective offering; excellent pickoff move; big competitor.

Weaknesses: Command is below average; lacks plus projection; can work up in the zone too often; curveball has nice shape but can get soft; tendency to start it too high in the zone; will struggle to be effective unless it plays with sharper fastball command; changeup can get too firm; lacks quality fade.

Overall Future Potential: 7; no. 2 starter

Realistic Role: 7; no. 2 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; ready for majors

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: One of the top fantasy pitching prospects in the game, Walker has the type of arm that can help contribute strongly across all categories. I’m not sold that he’ll be someone who sits near the top of the league leaderboard in strikeouts, but there will be enough to go around (think around 190-200 at his peak).

The Year Ahead: Walker needs to refine his command and his secondary arsenal, but the fastball is a high-end major-league pitch, and the cutter can bail him out of situations. Oddly enough, the curve that received all the minor-league hype received the least amount of industry love, at least as far as major-league projection is concerned. Don’t rule out his changeup becoming a much better pitch than people are projecting; it doesn’t look good now, but he has feel for pitching and the power of the fastball will assist in the deceptive elements of the offering. I wouldn’t be shocked if it develops into a plus pitch down the line. Give it time.

Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013

2. D.J. Peterson
Position: 1B
DOB: 12/31/1991
Height/Weight: 6’1” 190 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2013 draft, University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
Previous Ranking: NR
2013 Stats: .293/.346/.576 at Low-A Clinton (26 games), .312/.382/.532 at short-season Everett (29 games)
The Tools: 6 potential hit/power

What Happened in 2013: It’s a small sample, but Peterson did exactly what a polished college bat should do in the lower minors, which is slug .553 over two spots, including 13 home runs is 55 games.

Strengths: Natural hitter; easy to the ball; good extension; uses the entire field; shows plus power potential; doesn’t sell out for the tool; strength to lift the ball; arm is strong enough for third.

Weaknesses: Glove is below average at third; below-average range; likely home is across the diamond at first; has work ethic to improve at position, but the bat is the carrying tool; has to hit.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division third baseman

Realistic Role: 5; second-division first baseman

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate; difficult profile but good polish at present with plus projections on hit/power.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: The key with Peterson is how long he can maintain that 3B eligibility, even if his future eventually lies across the diamond. If his bat comes close to maxing out, that’s the difference between a stud at the hot corner and a back-end starter at first base. However, it’s a tough task to put up big power numbers as a right-handed bat at Safeco.

The Year Ahead: Peterson could be ready to move fast, possibly reaching Double-A by summer. The bat is his ticket to a first-division future, and the reports since he signed have been very positive; his bat-to-ball is very easy, and the power is already showing up in game action. He’s going to hit. The big question is: Will he become a 6/6 hit/power type or will he fall short of those projections? Falling short with the stick could come with an even bigger sting if he does in fact shift over to first at some point in the development process, a move that my sources seem to think is a likely outcome.

Major league ETA: 2015

For the rest of the rundown on the top 10, please visit BaseballProspectus.com.

Mariners Update – June 21

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.

Walker

  • 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.