Taijuan Walker better watch his back because Danny Hultzen is making every effort to come after him in the race for “Ms Best Prospect!”
Last night Hultzen went 8 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 BB, 0 R and striking out 8. It’s his third straight start without allowing a run (covering 19.2 innings) and over his last four starts combined his numbers look like this:
25.2 innings, 1 R, 1 ER, 14 hits allowed, 2 doubles allowed, 0 HR allowed, 31 K, 7 BB. The only sticking point now is his control, but he’s clearly cleaned up that issue lately and looks ready to advance and maybe as far as the majors. He’s allowed 2 hits or less in 7 of his 12 starts for the Jackson Generals.
With 70.1 innings pitched this season, one must wonder how many total innings the organization will have him pitch and where it would be best for him to spend the rest of those innings in 2012. At the very least he should be promoted to AAA to face a lot of “major league and former major league” talent but it would be hard to imagine him struggling much in the majors right now. After all, part of Hultzen’s appeal when he drafted second overall was his polish and MLB-readiness.
The Mariners just combined to no-hit the Dodgers but Kevin Millwood also tweaked his groin and Blake Beavan and Hector Noesi have had struggles this season. It might be time to see what the prospect who has been unhittable in the minors, can do in the majors.