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June 21, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Mariners promote Taijuan Walker to Tacoma

Coming off a stellar effort for Double-A Jackson last night, top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been promoted to Triple-A Tacoma. He will make his Pacific Coast League debut on Tuesday at Cheney Stadium against Fresno, the top affiliate of the Giants.

“We feel that Taijuan has  accomplished his goals at Double-A and it is time for the next step in his career,” GM Jack Zduriencik said in a release. “He is a very hard worker and has tremendous talent. We are looking forward to watching his development continue.”

Walker, who ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the preseason by Baseball American (one spot behind Mike Zunino), struck out a career-high 12 in 6 2/3 innings last night while limiting Mobile to one earned run.

The 20-year-0ld Walker (he turns 21 on Aug. 13) earned the victory, just his fourth against seven losses for the Generals. But Walker has a 2.46 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 96 in 84 innings with 30 walks — just one base on balls in his last three starts. He has given up just 58 hits, limiting opponents to a .195 batting average.

Here’s a summation of Walker’s progress in the Southern League, where he led in strikeouts and ranked second among all Double-A pitchers (Neil Ramirez of Frisco has 97). Walker ranked seventh in the Southern League in ERA, third in innings, and ninth in WHIP (1.05).

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