The Double-A Jackson Generals of the Southern League boast four of the top ranked prospects in baseball and they are already delivering on their promise.
Here are the results through April 30th.
SS Nick Franklin - Franklin is currently hitting .296, 3rd on the team, with 8 walks. He's collected 9 RBI and made of his 24 hits, 6 are doubles. The 2009 27th round pick for the Mariners faced illness and a concussion last season, and his progress was disrupted for two months. 2012 gives him a chance to shine as the top offensive prospect that he is. The twenty-one-year old played 21 games for Jackson in 2011 and a full season at that level is important. However, if he continues to play that well a jump to Triple-A Tacoma. NOTE: Franklin began 2011 named an AFL All-Star and an MiLB Rising Star.
LHP Danny Hultzen - Hultzen has 26 innings under his belt (2nd to teammate Andrew Carraway) and a 2.05 ERA in 5 starts. His 30 strikeouts is 7th in the league. The 23-year-old hasn't allowed more than five hits in any start this season. If he can cut down on the walks (12 so far), he will put himself in position for a quick progression through the system to the majors. NOTE: Was the Mariners first round selection in 2011 and made his professional debut later that year in the AFL.
RHP Taijuan Walker - There's been a few mixed results outings, but overall his 1.64 ERA leads all Jackson starters. He's third in strikeouts to teammates Hultzen and James Paxton with 26. In his third year of pro-ball he needs to keep his composure and get out of jams. He's had more success without pesky runners on base and walked six. NOTE: Named Seattle's Organizational Pitcher of the Year for 2011.
RHP James Paxton - His 31 strikeouts leads all Jackson starters (5th in the league), but his 16 walks is also the highest on the team. He's third in hits for the Generals allowing 18 over 5 starts. On April 21'st he had his roughest outing yet, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits in 2 innings, bloating his ERA to a 23.41. But he bounced back earlier this week and lowered it to 3.09 going a season-high six innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits. Despite a few bumps, he was named league Pitcher of the Week on the 16th. NOTE: Chosen as an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star in 2011. Selected to participate in the Futures Game, also in 2011.