Mariners Analysis: M’s Former 1st Round Picks, Where are they Now?

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May 29, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker (32) reacts after getting the final out of the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2010: Taijuan Walker – RHP – Yucaipa High School (Yucaipa, CA) – Pick 43 (Supplemental)

Taijuan Walker was a relative unknown to M’s fans when he was selected 43rd overall out of Yucaipa High, but he quickly made a name for himself in the minor leagues. Walker has always had great size, but he really learned how to pitch as he moved up the ladder in the Mariners’ system.

Tai found success at every level of the minor leagues, going 30-30 with a 3.65 ERA across 453.2 career innings. Walker was ranked the 5th best prospect in the game prior to the 2013 season by The heir to the throne in Seattle got the call to the big leagues as a 20-year-old in 2013.

Understandably, Walker has had an up and down career thus far with the Mariners. Prince Tai has a 5-9 record with a 4.42 ERA across 22 games in a Mariners’ uniform. However, this spring, fans saw the pitcher we all hoped would one day grace the mound in the Emerald City. He has struggled thought he first 2 months of the regular season, but he has a 1.69 ERA over his last 16.0 innings pitched.

Fans may have lowered their expectations slightly, but there is still plenty of optimism surrounding the 22-year-old right-hander. If people can be patient with Walker, I believe greatness is possible. Prince Tai has incredible stuff, he just needs to mature mentally. He arrived in the Emerald City as a very young man, and has pitched like one for much of his career.

Next: Danny Hultzen