July 10, 2011; Phoenix, AZ, USA; World pitcher James Paxton throws a pitch during the 2011 Futures Game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Prospect Check-In: Pitchers Edition

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Andrew Carraway SP – AAA

FIP – 2.49
K/9 – 7.58
BB/9 – 1.66
HR/9 – 0.24
LOB% – 78.0 %

The recently promoted Carraway has already “dazzled” in his first start up in Tacoma, taking a perfect game into the 7th inning. Carraway wasn’t necessicarily on many peoples radar this season, but now we might have to consider that there could be a big 4, rather than the original 3. The Mariners can afford to be a little more aggressive with Carraway, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up at some point this season.

Stephen Pryor RP – AAA

FIP – 1.14
K/9 – 13.50
BB/9 – 2.81
HR/9 – 0.00
LOB% – 75.0 %

Pryor is going to be a filthy reliever one day. Possibly one day soon assuming League is on the trading block. Not the Pryor will take his place, but rather everyone moves up a slot, which makes room for this strike out machine. Pryor is a pitcher I am extremely excited to see this season.

Chance Ruffin RP – AAA

FIP – 4.99
K/9 – 6.63
BB/9 – 5.21
HR/9 – 0.95
LOB% – 39.7 %

Ruffin’s performance to date has been somewhat lackluster. To be honest, I never really liked acquiring him in the Fister deal and it would be easy to look at him now and become a little angry. However, Ruffin is currently experiencing a career low strikeout rate, and a ridiculous left on base percentage. I would expect his numbers to bounce back relatively soon.

Forrest Snow SP – AAA

FIP – 5.22
K/9 – 8.58
BB/9 – 5.80
HR/9 – 1.26
LOB% – 58.9 %

Snow isn’t doing so hot. Yes…pun very much intended. Snow is suffering from a similar ailment as Ruffin, as he is having some trouble stranding base runners. When you walk as many guys as Snow does, you have to be able to keep that guy from scoring. So far this season that hasn’t been the case. I wonder if Snow isn’t more fitted for a relief role, though I am not ready to give up on him starting just yet.

Carter Capps RP – AA

FIP – 3.06
K/9 – 12.86
BB/9 – 2.57
HR/9 – 1.29
LOB% – 85.5 %

Capps is another potentially dominant reliever I am excited to see make the jump to the big leagues. He certainly need to bring that home run rate down a bit, but it isn’t killing him…yet.

Danny Hultzen SP – AA

FIP – 3.36
K/9 – 9.98
BB/9 – 5.58
HR/9 – 0.29
LOB% – 68.5 %

The first appearance of the big 3. Hultzen has enjoyed moderate success down in AA, but I think people expected a little more from a guy who was supposed to compete for a big league job out of spring. Sure he sports a shiny ERA, but his walk rate is not good and Hultzen is also getting extremely lucky, holding hitters to a .174 BABIP. Not to take away from Hulzten’s performance to date, he’s been really good and he’s arguably having the worst numbers out of the big 3. The pitching in this organization is just… deep.

Bobby LaFromboise RP – AA

FIP – 1.58
K/9 – 10.38
BB/9 – 2.08
HR/9 – 0.00
LOB% – 77.8

Maybe a name many of you aren’t familiar with, as he is closer to a fringe prospect than a real one. Lafromboise is having a break out season thus far, as his K rate has jumped 3%. We’ll see how long he can pull this off, but paired with a steady walk rate and a normal BABIP, I’m hopeful that he could sustain this.

James Paxton SP – AA

FIP – 2.91
K/9 – 11.16
BB/9 – 5.45
HR/9 – 0.26
LOB% – 74.0 %

Another sighting of a big 3 member. Paxton and Hultzen are sharing a similar issue: walks. We mostly knew this about Paxton, he’s always been a bit “wildly effective”. Even so with you can strike out folks like Paxton can, walks become less of an issue. I have to believe he is the closest of the 3 to receive a promotion.

Mauricio Robles SP – AA

FIP – 6.68
K/9 – 8.14
BB/9 – 9.43
HR/9 – 1.29
LOB% – 55.0 %

Just demoted, Robles has to feel somewhat deflated. It’s been hard for him this season as the numbers indicate. Robles is just going to have to jump back on that horse and try again. Maybe he is better suited for a pen spot, I’m just not sure yet. Meanwhile he can soak up some knowledge from the organizations top three hurlers while he is in AA.

Taijuan Walker SP – AA

FIP – 2.63
K/9 – 9.09
BB/9 – 2.84
HR/9 – 0.28
LOB% – 83.8 %

Walker, the youngest and rawest–rawest is a word–pitcher out of the big three, is currently having the best season. Unfortunately his age and status will keep him down in AA after Hultzen and Paxton make the jump. Walker is going to be my favorite pitcher to watch this season.

Jordan Shipers SP – Mid A

FIP – 3.18
K/9 – 5.60
BB/9 – 2.80
HR/9 – 0.20
LOB% – 81.6 %

Shipers is one of those guys the Mariners weren’t sure they were going to be able to sign. But they threw a ton of money at him and abra kadabra…poof, here he is. With the new CBA, things like this won’t happen anymore so thank goodness we got him while we could. Shippers has sacrificed strikeouts this season for less walks, which so far has been a recipe for success. Don’t expect Shipers to spend his entire season in Clinton.

 

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