SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the club will select right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker from AAA Tacoma and the 21-year-old will make his Major League debut Friday at Houston.
Walker, 21, will wear #27 when he takes the mound on Friday. The official roster move will be made Friday prior to the 5:10 p.m. PT/7:10 pm CT game at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
Walker is the Mariners top pitching prospect and was listed by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season. In 25 starts split between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, Walker has combined to go 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA (46 ER, 141.1 IP) and is averaging 10.19 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched (160 strikeouts). Walker is tied for 4th among minor league pitchers in strikeouts.
The 6-4, 210-pound right-hander pitched in the All-Star Futures Game and was selected as a Southern League All-Star. In four minor league seasons he has combined to go 23-26 with a 3.49 ERA and recorded 400 strikeouts (9.69 K/9.0 IP).
Walker was originally selected by Seattle in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) in the June Amateur Draft. He is a native of Yucaipa, CA.
When Walker makes his debut Friday, he will be 21 years, 17 days old (turned 21 Aug. 13), becoming the 5th-youngest player in Mariners history to make his MLB Debut as a starting pitcher: