Mariners Minor League Roundup: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not
Tacoma Rainiers: 11-10, 1st place in Pacific Coast League Northern Division
Mike Zunino – Hot
The Mariners former everyday backstop is posting MVP numbers right now in the PCL. Mike Z is slashing .400/.434/.786 with 7 home runs and 22 RBI through the first 19 games this season. Zunino has made it look easy at the plate, striking out just 14 times and working 5 walks across 70 at bats. The performance of Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger is allowing the M’s to be patient with Zunino, but he will force his way back to Seattle if he continues to mash.
Stefen Romero – Hot
Stefen Romero is another familiar name to M’s fans, and much like Zunino, Romero is tearing up the PCL right now. The 27-year-old is hitting .392 with 4 home runs and 17 RBI across 19 games. Romero has posted a .430 on base percentage and slugged .676 through 74 at bats. Surprisingly, Romero also leads the Rainiers with 3 triples in 2016. He had a remarkable spring in Arizona, and the Oregon State alum should find his way to Seattle at some point this season.
James Paxton – Hot
Pax-Man got off to a rough start this season in Tacoma, but the lanky left-hander has been a difference maker the past couple weeks. Paxton is 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA through 4 starts in 2016, but he has allowed just 1 unearned run in his last 11.1 innings pitched. The Ladner, BC native has fanned 16 and issued 9 free passes in 17.2 innings. The Mariners have received solid outings from all of their starting pitchers recently, but look for Paxton to get another shot in Seattle shortly.
Chris Taylor – Hot
Yet another name most Mariners’ fans recognize is Chris Taylor. Once thought of as the shortstop of the future in Seattle, Taylor is calling Tacoma home for the second consecutive season. The University of Virginia alum is hitting .321 with 1 home run and 4 RBI across 20 games. On the surface, those numbers are impressive but don’t “wow” people. However, Taylor has posted a .398 on base percentage and slugged .513 with the Rainiers. He has also tallied 8 doubles and 2 triples in 78 at bats.
Steve Johnson – Hot
Steve Johnson may not be a household name in Seattle, but he is quickly establishing himself as the Rainiers’ best reliever. The 28-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA through 6 appearances. Johnson has struck out 18 and walked 1 across 13.1 innings pitched. He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but he is getting the job done right now in the PCL.
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