James Paxton got his Arizona Fall League debut off on the right foot, striking out five and allowing just one hit and a walk in three innings.
The Seattle Mariners Class AA prospect will be pitching on the Peoria Javelins for the next few weeks, and Geoff Baker is down in Peoria, Arizona to fill everyone in with all the details.
Baker said that the hardest hit ball off of Paxton was a flyout to center, and that his single he gave up was a bloop single to shallow right field. Baker noted that Paxton looked overwhelming in his debut, which isn't an easy thing to do in the fall league.
Paxton looked like a man amongst boys and that's not always easy to do in a league where the ball tends to carry in the dry Arizona air, getting movement on pitches is tough and there are all kinds of sluggers looking to load up and impress their teams.
Paxton spent 2012 pitching in Class AA and finished the year 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA and 110 strikeouts through 106.1 innings. He went on the DL for a month in May but came back with a fury in the second half, going 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA over 11 starts.
Baker writes that Paxton's fastball overpowered many of the batters he faced, and Paxton claimed that through five or six change-ups which most of the hitters took.
"My change-up's been my big project pitch this year,'' Paxton said. "It's gotten a lot better as the year's gone on.''