2013 Seattle Mariners Prospect No. 3: Danny Hultzen

Danny Hultzen, LHP, Tacoma Rainiers (AAA, average age 26.8 in 2012)

6-3, 200 lbs, 23 years old

Bats: Left, Throws: Left

Acquired: 2011 Amateur Draft (1st Round)

2012 Ranking: 2nd

ETA: 2013

When the Mariners took Danny Hultzen a large segment of the Mariners fan population, me included, were a bit disappointed. He was considered a “safe” pick, and a polished pitcher who should make a fast ascent to the big leagues. Some people wanted Trevor Bauer. Some people wanted Anthony Rendon. I wanted Francisco Lindor because I like him a lot, Rendon had an injury history, and Bauer was the 2nd best on his college team behind 1st overall pick Gerrit Cole. Hultzen signed late and didn’t pitch professionally in 2011, but he lived up to his end of the bargain at the beginning of 2012, pitching 75.1 innings in Jackson and giving up only 38 hits and two homeruns. He pitched the second half of the season in Tacoma, and the wheels fell off a bit. Hultzen went from having decent control, and limiting his walks to an extent, to walking 8.0 batters per nine innings. His strikeout numbers didn’t drop off, and he still limited homeruns, but he had a 5.92 ERA, and Statcorner’s tRA thinks he should have been worse based on batted ball type, rating Hultzen at 6.37 (on essentially the ERA scale). Hultzen maintained velocity and there haven’t been a bunch of injury rumors, so 2012 probably isn’t a reason to get worried yet, but it’s certainly a red mark on Hultzen’s report card. The problem, of course, is that Hultzen didn’t see a major jump in innings, one of the common precursors for poor performance. Instead, Hultzen continued on a pretty natural progression from 95.1 IP, to 106.2 IP, to 118.0 IP his junior year at Virginia, and just 124.0 in his first year in the pros. He did have 25 starts though, up from 18 his junior year, and almost certain threw more pitches in his 124.0 IP. Hultzen has a chance to break camp with the club, and the Mariners proved in their treatment of Michael Pineda that they aren’t afraid to get the service time clock rolling early.

Potential (of 40): 34

Probability of Success (of 30): 23

Positional value (of 20): 20

Character (of 10): 10

OVERALL: 87

The rest of the 2013 Top 25 Prospects

  • maqman

    The Incredible Hultz took a hit in Tacoma. He’s going to have to erase that memory this season or his stock is going to go down significantly. However I personally don’t intend to short sell him, I think he’ll come back strong. At least I hope so. I mean we know not all of the Big 3 or 4 are going to draw a MLBPA pension. He could be the one,or of the two, or three that don’t.