Arizona Fall League Mariners


June 9, 2012; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators catcher Mike Zunino leads off second base during game one of the Gainesville super regional at McKethan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome to the 2012 Arizona Fall League.

While the Mariners rest on the laurels of a semi-successful rebuilding season, select representatives from Seattle’s minor league affiliates battle for supremacy in MLB’s annual offseason league.

Along with notable prospects and minor leaguers from the Twins, Phillies, Padres, and newly-eliminated Reds, are eight of the Mariners’ finest:

RHP Logan Bawcom
RHP Carson Smith
LHP James Paxton
LHP Bobby LaFromboise
C Mike Zunino
3B Vinnie Catricala
3B Stefen Romero
SS Nick Franklin

Throughout the AFL’s brief season, we’ll bring you periodic updates as these promising players refine their techniques and, hopefully, jostle their way to the top of the AFL Rising Stars’ roster in November. Here’s a brief look at Week 1.

Current record: 2-2

Top player: Southpaw Bobby LaFromboise kicked off the Peoria Javelinas’ season with two scoreless performances, earning a hold in a 5-2 win over Surprise Saguaros in Game 1. He tossed 2.1 innings with a walk and three strikeouts, seeing 51.82% of his pitches fall for strikes.

Honorable mention: Mike Zunino, reputed backstop who swiftly ascended the rungs of the Mariners’ system this season, saw two starts this week. As with any sample size (although the entire AFL does little more than hint at the potential these players carry), his contributions are fairly insignificant so far: in eight at-bats, he served up an RBI single, ground into a double play, and gunned down a runner at second.

For more information on the Peoria Javelinas and upcoming Arizona Fall League match-ups, follow @MLBazFallLeague on Twitter or swing by the official website.