Taijuan Walker Promoted to Triple-A
By JJ Keller
It was announced earlier that the top Mariner’s prospect Taijuan Walker has been promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma. This move was not much of a surprise, as it was only a matter of time until he got the call.
Depending on who you ask, Walker is either the #1 or #2 prospect in the Mariners organization, and it is easy too see why. He is a tall, well built righty, with the stuff to impress the scouts, and the numbers to impress the stat-guys.
On top of that, Walker was rated the 5th best prospect in the entire MLB according to Jonathan Mayo, in between Wil Myers and Travis d’Arnaud.
Walker earned the promotion after a dominant performance last night, in which he gave up just one earned run in 6.2 innings, while striking out 12, and walking none.
That outing brought his overall numbers to a 2.46 ERA, 3.13 FIP, and 96 strikeouts to just 30 walks in his 14 Double-A starts. He has bounced back nicely this season after struggling a little bit last year, to the tune of a 4.69 ERA and 4.04 FIP.
As I said before, I feel that this move was pretty widely believed to be on the horizon, as he has really ramped up his performance as of late, and seems to have proven everything he needs to prove at the AA level.
In terms of the future, I would have to believe he spends the rest of this year with Tacoma, and won’t see the big club this year. While they have rushed Mike Zunino, this organization seems to be more careful with pitchers, and there is really no reason to rush him either. This is a talent they can’t afford to mess with. Plus, if Erasmo Ramirez and Danny Hultzen end up making their way to the big club this year, there really isn’t a spot for Walker unless there is an injury, or Joe Saunders is moved.
Walker is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut on Tuesday against the Fresno Grizzlies. It will be exciting to see how he fares at the highest level in the farm.