As fans of the minor league system (and I assume that if you've been following me on this site, that's what you are) we have been spoiled this year. You realize that, right? It won't be long before we realize that it's not often you get this many exciting starts per week from a team's minor league system.
Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Victor Sanchez round out the top of the system. While Erasmo Ramirez, Forrest Snow, Andrew Carraway, Brandon Maurer, Anthony Fernandez, James Gilheeney, Jordan Shipers, Stephen Landazuri, and Dylan Unsworth have also provided varying levels of interest, among others. But mainly it's those top four that you pay most attention to, right now. Hultzen and Sanchez will be making their next respective starts today.
Hultzen has steadily settled down in each start for Tacoma since his June 23rd AA debut. He is now 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings. He's also walked 17 but gave just two free passes in his last start, which lasted a AAA-high six innings. Hultzen will likely pass the 100 inning threshold for the season today. The game is just getting under way and you can follow here.
Tacoma lost both games of a double-header to Colorado Springs yesterday. Shortstop Nick Franklin was 2-for-4 and is hitting .243/.326/.435 in 27 AAA games.
Way down in short-season Everett, 17-year-old Victor Sanchez will makes his eighth start of the season. I hope he's not too tired from watching the Teen Choice Awards. Did he vote Bieber? We'll never know for sure, but we'll probably assume for sure. Sanchez is 4-1 with a 4.01 ERA, 32 K and 15 BB in 42.2 innings. He's coming off his worst start of the season, but he's been otherwise phenomenal for his age. The game against Yakima kicks off at 7:05 PST.
It's likely that Sanchez, if all works out, is the next "Best Prospect" in our system by 2014. By then he'll still be a teenager, and I'll still be a Belieber.