Mariners prospect moves up to AAA
SEATTLE – Coming off a stellar effort for Double-A Jackson, Mariners top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker was promoted to AAA Tacoma on Friday. He will make his Pacific Coast League debut on Tuesday at Cheney Stadium against Fresno, the top affiliate of the Giants.
“The plan was to get him to Triple-A at some point this year,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “He’s pitched very well, and I think everyone’s excited about his progression. He had a big night last night. The timing is right.
“I don’t like to put expectations on players. It’s a jump to another level. But he’s handled all of this very well.”
Walker, who ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the preseason by Baseball America (one spot behind Mike Zunino), struck out a career-high 12 in 6 2/3 innings on Thursday while limiting Mobile to one earned run.
The 20-year-old Walker earned the victory, just his fourth against seven losses for the Generals. But Walker has a 2.46 earned-run average in 14 starts, striking out 96 in 84 innings with 30 walks – including just one base on balls in his last three starts.
Walker has given up just 58 hits, limiting opponents to a .195 batting average.
M’s sign No. 2 pick
Outfielder Austin Wilson, the Mariners’ second-round pick out of Stanford, signed his contract Friday and took batting practice at Safeco Field. Wilson is joining Everett of the Northwest League and hopes to debut on Monday.
At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Wilson has great physical tools.