James Paxton seems like he's on the fast track to the Mariners rotation in 2012. The fourth-round pick of the 2010 draft has been solid and at times outstanding at Class A Clinton, posting a 3-3 record with a 2.73 ERA. He's thrown 56 innings and struck out 80 batters. That's pretty ridiculous. The bad part is that he had 30 walks.
But Paxton basically sat out for a season and a half before getting signed with the exception of some independent league games.
Really, this move was expected. Paxton, 22, was too advanced for the Midwest League. It was smart of the Mariners to have Paxton bypass Class A High Desert to Jackson. Not only is High Desert horrible for pitchers, but really it's a better test for Paxton to pitch in the Southern League.
It will be a good indicator of how far he is away from being ready for the big leagues. Could we see him in September? If he pitches well, it's possible.