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Checking In With The Super Team

Danny Hultzen's tie and jacket
Danny Hultzen's tie and jacket

Of course, we all know the Seattle Mariners are the one true super team. If the Seattle Mariners weren't the one true super team, why would we be following them? It wouldn't make sense. But the super team has a super affiliate, and right now that super affiliate is the double-A Jackson Generals. The Mariners are the super team of the Majors, and the Generals are the super team of the minors.

It was Baseball America that said shortly before the year that the Jackson Generals were the most talented team in the minor leagues. I don't know if it was actually Baseball America, and I don't know if "most talented" was the wording, but that's the sentence construction that I thought sounded the most impressive so that's what I'm going with. Even if that sentence is untrue, you're going to come away assuming it's true because of the way that your brain works.

The Generals, of course, are the current employer of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. Are they the employer? Are the Mariners the employer? The Generals are the current team that gives uniforms to Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. They also give uniforms to some other interesting prospects. And they also give uniforms to some less interesting prospects and to some non-prospects, but I don't want to name those guys because it's mean. I figured now would be a fine opportunity to catch up with how they've started, since they're interesting and there's fuck all else to write about. I really hope you don't mind if I swear because I'm getting more comfortable with swearing.

Paxton has made three starts in the young season, and Monday's was his worst, as he walked eight batters and couldn't escape the fifth. He also whiffed four, and he has 21 strikeouts in 15 total innings, but Monday was a handy reality check as Paxton simply has work to do with his efficiency. Namely, he doesn't have much of it, and could stand to have more of it. Even when Paxton isn't walking guys, he's often burning up too many pitches, and that's an adjustment we should hope he can make.

Hultzen has made two starts, with 16 strikeouts and six walks. Remember that, AFL aside, and spring training aside, these were his first starts as a professional pitcher. Remember that. Do not forget that. Make a note of that, so if you do forget it, you can see the note and remember it. And then think about something else because we needn't over-analyze Danny Hultzen's first two starts.

Walker has made one start and starts again today. His first start was good. He's so young. When I was Taijuan Walker's age I was blogging about the Mariners. I have been blogging about the Mariners for so many years. At least here I'm blogging about players who aren't Mariners, yet.

A guy you should keep in mind who could rise awful fast is Carter Capps. The Mariners selected him in the third round last year out of a college that doesn't even exist, and in four appearances out of the Jackson bullpen, he has a walk and 11 strikeouts. He has a funky delivery and a high-90s fastball, and the Mariners aren't going to slow him down if he starts beating on the door. That doesn't make sense. The Mariners aren't going to stop him from beating on the door if he starts beating on the door. Then they'll let him in. Young relievers in the minors can move quick, and Capps is a very promising young reliever.

Stephen Pryor has been good as Jackson's co-closer, and could also move quickly, although I doubt he'd move as quickly as Capps. I'm rushing now because the next part is talking about the hitting prospects and there isn't a lot to say about the hitting prospects. Nick Franklin's been all right. Francisco Martinez has already drawn more walks with Jackson this year than he did with Jackson last year. He didn't join Jackson until after the Doug Fister trade, but still. He hasn't homered yet, though. One of the things the Mariners said about Martinez is that the ball jumps off of his bat. It hasn't been jumping off of his bat with much force, yet.

That's your quick wrap-up of the double-A Jackson Generals. Expect more of these on future occasions when I don't know what else to say. It's worth noting - unsurprisingly - that offense is down so far in the Southern League. The league OPS is .675, and the league strikeout rate is 21 percent. So consider that when you're thinking about the pitchers, and the hitters. Man, I am so not jazzed about the Mariners playing the Indians. The Indians actively reduce the amount of energy I have to put into other things during the day, like this.