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Zunino, Franklin, Paxton Among Mariners AFL Participants

The Seattle Mariners have announced the players that will be playing in the Arizona Fall League this season to get more work, with few surprises.

Top 2012 pick Mike Zunino will continue to put work in, much like Dustin Ackley did a few years ago when he dominated the AFL. Zunino is hitting .367/.458/.720 in 40 games this season with Everett and Jackson. I fully expect him to be named as a top 25 prospect going into next year and a strong showing in the AFL will only help that and help his chances of being with the big league club sooner, rather than later.

Joining him will be shortstop Nick Franklin. He has hit .278/.347/.455 in 115 games this season with Jackson and Tacoma but has struggled with the Rainiers mostly, hitting .241/.307/.415 with 64 strikeouts in 266 at-bats. Franklin played in only 88 games in 2011, so this is going to give him a chance to get more acclimated to a 162-game season.

Also potentially needing more time is James Paxton, though he has pitched 100.1 innings this year, he missed about a month with injury. He needs to work on cleaning up his control and Paxton could even challenge for a rotation spot out of Spring Training. A few AFL starts won't hurt.

RP Logan Bawcom, RP Bobby LaFromboise, 1B Vinnie Catricala, IF Stefen Romero, P Carson Smith will join them.

Catricala has really struggled this year, hitting .227/.294/.339 in his Tacoma debut, while Romero has broken out with a .345/.386/.585 season for High Desert and Jackson. It should give the club a better idea of what they've got with both.