The Mariners made the plans for Danny Hultzen's professional debut official yesterday when he was announced as one of seven Seattle players that will head to Arizona to compete in the Arizona Fall League. Joining Hultzen on the roster will be rehabbing big league catcher Adam Moore, Triple-A Tacoma right-hander Forrest Snow and four players from Double-A Jackson.
Shortstop Nick Franklin, outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang, right-hander Steven Hensley and lefty Brian Moran have all played for the Generals this season. Franklin is one of two shortstops on the roster (St. Louis prospect Ryan Jackson is the other), Chiang is one of six outfielders and joining the Mariners' pitchers on the 36-man Peoria roster are six more left-handers and 11 more right-handers. Hultzen and Moore make up one-third of the 40-man rostered players on the club.
SeattleClubhouse got in touch with Mariners' Director of Minor League Operations Pedro Grifol, who said of the assignments, “The Arizona Fall League creates a great opportunity for an exclusive group of our players to hone their skills and gain experience against top-level competition. We have a good group of guys that will compete in the AFL. Danny Hultzen will be making his professional debut and that will create a lot of excitement. Adam Moore will be coming back from a knee injury and is raring to get back onto the field. Nick Franklin will have the opportunity to continue to grow his game and extend the success he has had at several levels of our organization."
Grifol added, "Overall, we are excited for all of the players in our organization to get the opportunity to put in hard work this off-season with the common goal of becoming a Seattle Mariner.”
The Mariners are one of five teams that send players to compete on the Javelinas. Their prospects are joined by prospects from the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and San Diego Padres. Last season the Javelinas won the Western division and Seattle's Dustin Ackley won the League MVP award after leading the circuit in hitting (.424), OBP (.581), SLG (.758), OPS (1.338), runs scored (28) and walks (26) and tying for 3rd in the league in home runs (4).
There is one more Seattle tie: Tacoma hitting coach Alonzo Powell will fill the same role for the Javelinas this year.