Mariners Insider Blog

Taijuan Walker develops on/off the mound

Interesting story today on Seattle Mariners rookie Taijuan Walker, who's interview skills have blossomed in the not-quite-two-years since being drafted out of high school.

Walker, 19, impressed his Class A pitching coach, Rich Dorman, and scouts following him last year, and with a 95 mph fastall and a developing curve, it's not hard to see why. Dorman said one scout compared Walker to Bob Gibson.


Walker comes across as hungry but humble, a kid raised by a single mom who worked long hours to provide for Walker, his two brothers and a sister.

“I’d cook and try to clean up for her. I did it on my own, because I knew she was already working so much," he said.s “When I signed, I bought her a car and a house. I’d love to eventually make sure she didn’t have to work any more, let her enjoy life.”

Read the whole story here: Walker talked about a father who promised to show up on draft day to share the joy - then didn't - his battles learning the curve, and more.

Great kid, one promising pitcher. Two years ago, talking to him on a conference call after the draft, Walker was nervous, spoke only a few words at a time. Now? He's open, thoughtful, articulate. Oh, and that fastbaqll occasionally touches 98 mph.