Two of the Mariners’ touted young pitchers, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker, have been selected to the United States squad for the All-Star Futures Game on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
The game, which matches a U.S. squad against a World team, is played the Sunday prior to the All-Star Game. This year, the U.S. squad will be managed by Royals Hall of Famer George Brett, the World squad by ex-Yankees All-Star Bernie Williams. Jim Pankovits, manager of the Mariners’ Class AA Jackson farm team, will be part of the U.S. coaching staff.
The game will begin at 2 p.m. Pacific Time and be televised on ESPN2. You can find the complete rosters here.
The selection of Hultzen and Walker brings to 28 the number of Mariners products to be selected for the Futures Game since its inception in 1999. Current members of the 25-man roster who have participated are Miguel Olivo (2000), Franklin Gutierrez (2003), Felix Hernandez (2004), Michael Saunders (2007), Jesus Montero (2008-09) and Hector Noesi (2010).
Brett will have an explosive pitching staff at his disposal, featuring the first four picks from last year’s draft: Gerrit Cole (No. 1), Hultzen (No. 2), Trevor Bauer (No. 3) and Dylan Bundy (No. 4).
Hultzen, 22, tore up the Southern League (8-3, 1.19 ERA with Jackson) and will make his first Triple-A start with Tacoma on Saturday at Colorado Springs. He left Jackson leading the Southern League in ERA, opponent batting average (.151), and WHIP (0.93) . He allowed five runs in four innings in his first start, and then only five earned runs in his next 71.1 innings (0.63). He had a streak of 26.2 scoreless innings working when he was called up to Tacoma yesterday.
Walker, just 19, is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts iwth Jackson, walking 23 and striking out 59 in 57 innings.