The question has been asked repeatedly in recent weeks.
What more do Danny Hultzen and Nick Franklin have left to prove at the Double A level?
The answer: Nothing.
The Mariners two prized prospects will be moving on from the Jackson Generals today and join the Tacoma Rainiers, a source within the Mariners front office confirmed.
The Rainiers are hosting the Reno Aces on Wednesday and Thursday, but then travel to Colorado Springs on Friday.
The move will likely be announced sometime Wednesday or Thursday. The Mariners wanted to allow both to play in the Southern League all-star game on Tuesday as a reward for their highly successful first halves to their season.
Hultzen started the game and threw one scoreless inning, recording one strikeout. Franklin went 0-for-2 with a walk.
Hultzen, the Mariners top pitching prospect, is 8-3 with a miniscule 1.19 ERA. He is riding a streak of 26 2/3 scorless innings pitched, and has allowed just five earned runs in his last 71 1/3 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .148 against him during that span. For the season, he’s struck out 79 batters and walked just 32 in 75 1/3 innings pitched.
Franklin is widely considered to be the Mariners shortstop of the future, possibly the opening day starter for next season. At just 21 years old, he’s rocketed through the Mariners system since being taken with the 27th overall pick of the 2009 draft.
Franklin is hitting .322 (66-for-205) with a .394 on-base percentage and a .502 slugging percentage. He has 17 doubles, four triples and four homers with 26 RBI. He’s also stole nine bases.
Franklin is probably the Mariners best position player prospect in the organization at the moment.
He will join one-time top prospect Carlos Triunfel and veteran Luis Rodriguez. But expect Franklin to see plenty of time at shortstop with some games at second base.
The Rainiers are hosting the Reno Aces for games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before traveling to Colorado Springs.