The Mariners selected Taijuan Walker with a first-round supplemental pick (43rd overall) in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft. The Yucaipa, California product is an athletic right-handed starter that stands at 6’4”, 210 pounds entering his age twenty season.
Walker’s three premium offerings — fastball, curveball and changeup — are still developing, but each appear to ooze the upside of true major league “plus” pitches.
His fastball tops out in the 97 mph range, but is regularly worked into sequences between 93 and 97 mph. Mike Newman indicated that Walker’s arm slot on his fastball allows him to hide the ball well, causing the pitch to “explode late on hitters” and appear faster than it may be. Baseball America notes that Walker’s fastball can “flatten out at times” but his overall command of the pitch is steadily improving.
In addition to the fastball, Walker possesses a devastating curveball in his arsenal that sits in the 75-77 mph range and falls off the table. BA notes that Walker tend