From the Clinton Lumber Kings Twitter feed comes the news that James Paxton has earned a promotion and not just one, but two, skipping over the pitching wasteland that is High Desert in favor of the Double-A Jackson. It's not surprising that Paxton has worked his way out of Clinton this season as he's been above the development curve for that league, but his long layoff between college and professional pitching made the initial assignment sensible.
Paxton has been a strikeout machine in Clinton, but there are concerns over his control thus far. His latest start was among his more encouraging however, with zero walks for the first time as a Mariner, though he also hit his first batter and tossed an incredible three wild pitches. All told, Paxton punched out 80 of the 236 (34%) batters he faced while with Clinton. On the downside, he put 31 (13%) on base and his three wild pitches on Tuesday gave him four over his ten starts. He's got the stuff and can keep the ball on the ground as well. Now with Double-A, we can get a glance into how well his command will hold up at the higher levels. Double-A is where I start to give real credence to Minor League numbers so I'm excited.