Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Now who’s top dog? Entering this season the Mariner’s had one of the most hyped farm systems in baseball. But with names like Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin and Brad Miller finding themselves in the Big Leagues, there’s a chance the talent is drying up. Luckily that’s not the case. Seattle’s top prospects may be moving up, but there’s still plenty of other big names to be excited about. Here’s an inside look at Seattle’s other guys down on the farm. The Big Three Everyone knows the big three by now—Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton—so we won’t spend too much time talking about them. So far in 2013 Walker’s development has taken huge steps forward. Unfortunately, after a great start Hultzen’s been on the shelf with a shoulder injury since June—he’s likely to be shut down before season’s end. As for Paxton, he’s taken some steps back. All-in-all these three are still high ceiling prospects, with Hultzen and Walker likely candidates to break the rotation next Spring. D.J. Peterson, 3B Seattle’s No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, D.J. Peterson is already paying big dividends for the M’s. In just 54 games split between low-A and single-A, Peterson is posting a .920 OPS with 13 home runs and 47 RBI. Not a bad beginning to his professional career. Peterson is easily Seattle’s top offensive prospect (Photo: eastvalleytribune.com) Drafted out of the University of New Mexico, Peterson was one of the most polished bats in the NCAA this season. With an advanced approach at the plate and a penchant for power, Peterson has many of the same advanced hit tools as Mike Zunino. Though his size may cause him to eventually move to first base or left field, Peterson’s bat is something to be excited about. Stefen Romero, 2B Stefen Romero had a huge breakout campaign last season, posting a .991 OPS with 23 home runs. While the power may have been over-exaggerated—the High Desert league is a launching pad—his ability to hit is for real. Outside of his ability to get on base, Romero is also a defensive stud. He’s quick, instinctive, has a strong arm and his glove can play just about anywhere. Romero’s stats have taken a bit of a step back at Triple-A—he’s currently hitting .281/.330/.433—but his well rounded strengths still make him a top prospect. At best he’ll be a solid starter, and at worse he’ll be a super utility player with a solid bat off the bench. Tyler Pike, LHP Overshadowed last year by other top arms in Seattle’s system, left-hander Tyler Pike is finally starting to get noticed. With a three-pitch arsenal and a feel for pitching well-beyond his years, Pike is currently sporting a 2.35 ERA and 7.4 K/9 for single-A Clinton. The 19-year old’s control has taken some step backs from the rookie league, but he’s still pitching at a high level. While Pike may not have the high ceiling of the Big Three, he still features plenty of exciting upside. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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