PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 10: World Future's All-Star James Paxton #47 of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch against the U. S. team during the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game at Chase Field on July 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The hitter and pitcher of the week for the Seattle Mariners minors.
It's week "two" for the Major Mariners, but also the second week for the Mariners Minors too! Time to round things up and see what's what for the Seattle Mariners' many affiliates.
Hitter of the Week: Brad Miller, SS, High Desert Mavericks
Sure, hitting 3,000 feet above sea level never hurts and it has often elevated hitting numbers to the point where you can't trust anything, but just because you can't trust it doesn't mean you can't love it.
When the Mariners made their top pick in 2011 Danny Hultzen, it came with all the "trappings" and media fanfare you would expect from being the No. 2 pick, but next to him at many of those pressers was shortstop Brad Miller out of Clemson. Miller won the national award for being the top shortstop in college baseball (The Brooks Wallace Award) and the M's took him in the second round (62nd overall) in the draft.
Miller hit .415/.458/.528 in 14 games for Clinton last season and now finds himself in the California League at age 22, mostly blocked by Nick Franklin in Jackson, even though it seems like Miller could handle himself in AA. He's clearly shown through one week that he can at least do some damage over a four-game span: 9-for-18 with eight (yes, eight) extra-base hits. Miller has driven in 11 runs and scored 9 times in four games.
He has one fewer total base in these four games than he did in 14 games with Clinton last season.
When he finally graduates from High Desert, Miller may not show the same power-hitting prowess, but he'll at least be more appropriate for the level.
Pitcher of the Week: James Paxton, SP, Jackson Generals
Taijuan Walker didn't officially get a start in last week, and Danny Hultzen had a terrible end to a good start, so with a short week we obviously give you the performance of one Jimmy Paxton.
The lefty went 5.2 innings and struck out 10, without walking anyone and allowing just two hits. He struck out 51 in 39 innings for Jackson last season, but he's off to an even more fantastic start in 2012. It wouldn't be unreasonable to see Paxton leave Jackson for major league action by Maction. I mean, by MAY.
Paxton will make his second start of the season, this week against the Tennessee Smokies.
That's Good, That's Bad
Carlos Peguero went 7-for-10 this week with two home runs, a double, a triple and walked twice while he struck out only twice. That's good!
Townspeople are back from Spring Break, have torches, still don't think Peguero could post an OBP over .300 in the majors. That's bad.
Charlie Furbush didn't make the major league team out of Spring Training, but could be up at any time and pitched 3 innings last week, striking out five and walking none. That's good!
Forrest Snow is younger than Furbush, has more promise, and is starting, but allowed 5 hits and 5 walks in 5 innings, for a WHIP of 2.000 in his debut. That's bad.
Danny Hultzen struck out seven in four innings. That's good!
He also allowed seven baserunners and five of them scored. That's bad.
High Desert is 4-0 and as a team, the Mavericks are hitting .371/.455/.714 with 8 HR and 21 doubles. That's good!
In High Desert, you should expect nothing less than to hit 1.000/1.000/4.000. That's bad.
Guillermo Pimentel is two years younger than any hitter on Clinton and has three hits with a home run over the first three games. That's good!
It is the only home run for Clinton so far. (That's early-season-it's-only-three-games baseball!)