It's been a busy past few days for the Mariners minor league system with a pair of key promotions and also the announcement of two players being named to the Futures Game that is held over the All-Star game every year.
Seager was promoted to Triple A Tacoma and will debut tonight at Cheney Stadium for the Rainiers. Franklin will move up from Class A High Desert to Double A Jackson to replace Seager.
Mariners Minor League Director of Operations Pedro Grifol said both players earned these promotions.
Seager will play primarily second base with the Rainiers, but he will also see time at short stop and third base. He has only played a few games at third base this season because of a sore throwing arm. But Grifol said the 24-year-old Seager is healthy now.
Seager (5-10, 175) was hitting .312 (83-for-266) with a .381 on-base percentage and 25 doubles, four homers and 37 RBI in 66 games for the Generals.
"He just had a real good first half," Grifol said. "People look at the batting average, but beyond on that, he knows how to handle the bat, he has good plate coverage. He's a hitter that knows how to put together a quality at-bat and excels in situational hitting."
Franklin, who had a monster season last year with Class A Clinton, was having a solid season with Class A High Desert. He was hitting .275 with the Mavs with a .356 OBP and a .411 slugging percentage and 1o doubles, five triples, five homers and 20 RBI with 13 stolen bases.
"People will say he's only hitting .270 in High Desert, but our evaluations said he's putting up quality at-bats and playing extremely good defense. His walks are up and he's hitting the ball hard," Grifol said.
He played with Double A Jackson for a handful of games last season during the postseason.
"We want to get him at higher baseball and challenge him a little, get him into a tougher league have to elevate his game, we know he is certainly capable," Grifol said.
If you've met or watched Franklin play, you will know that he relishes such challenges.
Franklin will spend the bulk of his time at shortstop with the Generals. Grifol said probably four or five times a week at shortstop, while getting a game or two at third base and second base. That means Jackson's regular starting shortstop, Carlos Triunfel, will start playing third base and second base a little more for the time being. Triunfel played all 61 of his games at shortstop. He is hitting .280 with 18 doubles, five homers and 21 RBI. He has a .339 OBP and a .436 slugging percentage. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Triunfel move up to Triple A to play shortstop by mid July.
Liddi, 22, is batting .260 (75x289) with 64 runs, 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 71 games for Triple-A Tacoma. He currently ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League in runs scored (64) and at-bats (289). A native of San Remo, Imperia, Italy, Liddi has played for the World squad in the last two All-Star Futures games (2009-2010). Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 5, 2005, Liddi has spent his entire professional career in the Mariners organization where he was named Mariners Minor League Player of the Year in 2009.
Paxton, 22, is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA (15 ER, 50.0 IP) in 9 starts with Single-A Clinton. He has limited opponents to a .226 (40x177) average, while walking 30 and striking out 73. He has struck out 10 or more batters three times this season, including striking out a season-high 13 batters on June 16 vs. Quad Cities. A native of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Paxton was selected by the Mariners in the 4th round of the 2010 June Draft.
Here's today's minor league report...