We’re a little more than halfway through the first season of the Mariners’ full-blown youth movement, and there have been some promotions of minor league prospects worth tracking.
Two impressive middle infielders have been bumped up a level in the farm system: Shortstop Brad Miller was promoted to Double-A Jackson, and shortstop Chris Taylor moved from Single-A (short season) Everett up to Single-A Clinton.
Miller, a second-round pick in 2011, was hitting .339 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI for High Desert, warranting the move. The left-handed batter also ripped 33 doubles in the California League.
Hitting conditions are more difficult at Jackson, but that didn’t stop Miller from hitting his first Double-A homer in a 5-2 win over Montgomery on Thursday.
Taylor, 21, hit .328 in 37 games for Everett after being drafted in the fifth round by the Mariners in June out of the University of Virginia. The Mariners decided to challenge him for the final six weeks of the season and see if he could handle the full-season Single-A Midwest League.
Closer to home, hard-throwing reliever Carter Capps was promoted to the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers from Jackson on Friday.
The right-hander dominated the Southern League, collecting 19 saves while posting a 1.26 ERA in 50 innings pitched.
Capps, who was a third-round pick last year out of Mount Olive College in North Carolina, has reached 100 mph with his fastball. He used that heat to strike out 72 batters for Jackson.
P TAIJUAN WALKER GETS BACK ON TRACK
Taijuan Walker, one of the top pitching prospects in the Mariners’ farm system, has emerged from a rough patch to once again shine in the Double-A Southern League.
The 19-year-old Walker struggled through June, posting a 9.15 ERA in five starts for Jackson while he worked to improve his off-speed pitches during game conditions.
He has turned a corner in his past two outings, allowing one run on seven hits in 12 innings with 11 strikeouts. The performance earned him the No. 1 ranking on the weekly Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
Rainiers opening day starting pitcher Matt Fox has been out of the picture for nearly the entire season.
After making his third start of the year on April 15, Fox had shoulder soreness and was immediately shut down.
He was sent to Peoria, Ariz., to rehabilitate the weak shoulder – which took much longer than expected.
Fox has returned to the mound, pitching in three games in the Arizona Rookie League the past two weeks as he tries to regain arm strength. Fox lasted three innings in his last start Tuesday and could be close to re-joining the Rainiers’ rotation.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.