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Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin Lead Cast Of AFL Participants

The Seattle Mariners have announced which seven of their players will be taking part in this year's Arizona Fall League. I haven't figured out how to make this post interesting yet so first things first, here's the roster:

-Danny Hultzen
-Nick Franklin
-Adam Moore
-Forrest Snow
-Chih-Hsien Chiang
-Brian Moran
-Steven Hensley

None of these names are surprising, because who is ever surprised by the name of an AFL participant? If Ichiro were going to the AFL, that would be surprising. That Brian Moran is going to the AFL is not surprising.

Friend 1: Seven Mariners are going to the AFL.
Friend 2: Huh.
Friend 1: One of them is Brian Moran.
Friend 2: No kidding!
Friend 2: Wow.
Friend 2: I mean, wow! I never would've expected that.

This is a dialogue that never happened.

Hultzen, we've known about. After a long summer of waiting to make big money, and then making big money, Hultzen will take a break from living a life of leisure to throw a few baseballs. It'll be his first taste of life as a professional baseball player, kind of, and I don't know what sorts of adjustments he'll need to make, but hopefully he makes them. Hopefully he makes all adjustments and becomes perfect.

Franklin's season was rudely interrupted by a concussion and mononucleosis - unrelated - so the AFL will give him an opportunity to get in a little more work. Last I heard, Franklin was still gaining back the considerable weight that he lost while sick, so surely exercising a lot should help.

Moore just needs to play after being hurt all year long. Snow's a guy to keep your eye on since he's run a 5.0 K/BB in Tacoma. Chiang hasn't hit a lick since the trade and will get an extended opportunity to find a groove. Moran has followed two years of allowing zero home runs by allowing eight home runs, but he's still put himself on the map as a reliever prospect. And Hensley's going, too.

The AFL kicks off on Tuesday, October 4th, and all of the Mariners players will again be playing for the Peoria Javelinas. Last year, the Javelinas finished with a league-best record of 20-10, led by Dustin Ackley's .424 average and some guy named Pat Urckfitz. This year, the Javelinas will look to repeat as the league's best despite like a completely different roster. It's an unusual strategy, but I trust that they know what they're doing.