Yesterday, Mariners prospects Alex Liddi and James Paxton participated in the annual Futures Game during all-star weekend in Phoenix.
Both players showed hints of their massive potential.
For Paxton, who is in his first year of professional baseball, it was yet another rung on the organizational ladder he is climbing at a rapid pace.
The former fourth-round pick signed during spring training and has gone from low A Clinton to Double A Jackson to the Futures Game. Could we see him in September with the Mariners? It's certainly a possibility.
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Paxton pitched one inning, not allowing a hit and needed just seven pitches. He hit 95 and 96 on the radar gun. He is also has an Eric Wedge mustache starter's kit on his upper lip.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun talked to Paxton about his decision to not sign with the Blue Jays and just about his road to the Mariners.
Liddi went 0-for-3 having to face some unbelievable pitching, including Rays top prospect Matt Moore.
But he did make a brilliant play at third on a slow roller. You can see the video in this story by MLB.com's Corey Brock. And that's one thing that Liddi has improved on is his defense. Scouts questioned it last season. This year he is much improved. He's not Adrian Beltre but he's better than average.
Speaking of Liddi, our fine intern Chris Wells, who's going to the excellent journalism school at my fine alma mater, the University of Montana, wrote this nice feature on Liddi for Sunday's News Tribune.
“He’s a 22-year-old in Triple-A, and he is putting up pretty good numbers,” said Pedro Grifol, the Mariners director of Minor League Operaations. “His strikeouts are high, but that’s something we’re addressing and working on and he’s aware of. We think he is only going to get better. As far as everything else, his power numbers are up, his RBIs are right on line with what he’s done and can do.”