It's going to be hard to score runs against Double-A Jackson. The Generals' rotation features the organization's top three pitching prospects in righthander Taijuan Walker and lefthanders Danny Hultzen and James Paxton. Beyond that, the rotation also features intriguing sleepers in righthanders Brandon Maurer and Andrew Carraway. The bullpen will light up radar guns with righthanders Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor and the lineup will feature shortstop Nick Franklin, third baseman Francisco Martinez, first baseman Rich Poythress and outfielders Chih-Hsien Chiang and Johermyn Chavez.
Leap Of Faith
The Mariners decided to skip Walker over the hitter-friendly California League and send the 19-year-old straight to Double-A. He developed a good relationship with Hultzen and Paxton since last year, and the three thrive on healthy competition.
Where Is That Guy?
After making the transition to catcher during instructional league, it's no surprise that Marcus Littlewood is being kept at extended spring training to continue learning the craft. Littlewood will be with several other players in extended, including fellow catcher Tyler Marlette, shortstops Cavan Cohoes, Martin Peguero and Ketel Marte, righthander Victor Sanchez and outfielders Phillips Castillo and James Zamarripa.
Time Is Running Out
After the Mariners made him the 33rd overall pick in 2009, this will be catcher Steve Baron's third full season in pro ball and he's only played five games above low Class A. He's a career .207/.257/.310 hitter who is back in Clinton, where Opening Day will mark his 103rd game with the LumberKings.
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