Rant Sports: 5 Mariners ‘Sure To Shine’ In Peoria
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(1090 The Fan) — Whether you want to call it “hype,” “hope” or “suspense” — there is definitely something surrounding the 2014 Seattle Mariners’ season.
Obviously, the free agent signing of five-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano spoke volumes about Seattle’s intentions for the upcoming year: win now. And, with a new manager at the helm in Lloyd McClendon; a slew of new faces like Corey Hart, Fernando Rodney and Logan Morrison; plus a healthy crop of young players like Mike Zunino, Brad Miller and Taijuan Walker — the potential is boiling for this franchise to break out of a longstanding slump.
We will all have an idea of what this new group can do in a couple weeks when Spring Training gets underway.
David Miller of Rant Sports profiled five players who he expects will make the most of their audition in Peoria. One player in particular most Mariners fans will have their eye on is pitcher Taijuan Walker.
In 15 innings of work last year, Walker quietly displayed his arsenal of filth. But, 15 innings in just three games can only show so much. For the majority of 2013, Walker was shutting down hitters for the the Jackson Generals (AA) and the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA).
In Jackson, Walker worked a total of 84 innings and held a 2.46 ERA and a WHIP of 1.05. As a Rainier he continued to keep hitters at bay and maintained an ERA of 3.61 in 11 games before being called up to Seattle.
The 2010 first round pick continues to improve his late-moving fastball which consistently checks in at 94-95 mph. During his brief time in the majors last season, it hit 98. Coupled with a straight change at 82 mph, Walker can be dangerous with just those two pitches.
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