SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners minor league pitcher Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker have been selected to play for the U.S. squad in the 14th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game to be played July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (2 p.m. PT/ESPN2, MLB Network Radio) as part of All-Star weekend.
The Mariners have had 28 selections to the Futures Game since its first beginning in 1999. Six players on the current 25-man roster played in the Futures Game in the past: Miguel Olivo (2000), Franklin Gutierrez (2003), Felix Hernandez (2004), Michael Saunders (2007), Jesus Montero (2008-09) and Hector Noesi (2010).
Jackson manager Jim Pankovits will be part of the U.S. coaching staff.
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club, the U.S. Team and the World Team. Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
Hultzen, 22, is 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. He was promoted to AAA Tacoma yesterday, and is scheduled to make his Rainiers debut Saturday at Colorado Springs. After allowing 5 runs in 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, Hultzen has allowed only 5 earned runs in his last 71.1 innings (0.63 ERA), lowering his ERA from 11.25 to 1.19 ERA in last 12 starts. He heads to Triple-A with a string of 26.2 consecutive scoreless innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen left Jackson leading the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponent batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranked T1st in the league in wins (8), 2nd in strikeouts (79), T4th in innings pitched (75.1) and in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.44). Hultzen was the starting pitcher for the North Division in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, tossing a scoreless first inning with a walk and strike out.
Hultzen was the Mariners first round selection (2nd overall) in the 2011 First-Year MLB Player Draft out of the University of Virginia. He made his professional debut in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, going 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA (3 ER, 19.1 IP) in 6 starts. He entered the 2012 season ranked as the No. 16 prospect in baseball by MLB.com and also listed as the No. 3 left-handed pitcher by the website.
Walker, 19, is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA (24 ER, 57.0 IP) in 12 starts with Double-A Jackson. He has limited opponents to a .249 (53x247) average, while walking 23 and striking out 59 in 57.0 innings. As one of the youngest players in the Southern League, he has allowed 2 or less earned runs in 9 of his 12 starts this season, including holding opponents scoreless in 3 starts.
Walker was selected by the Mariners in the first round (43rd overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player draft. He was named Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, after going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA (31 ER, 96.2 IP) in 18 starts with Clinton. Walker was also named the top Midwest League prospect in 2011 by Baseball America. In his first 3 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Walker is 11-9 with a 3.14 ERA (56 ER, 160.2 IP) in 32 games, 30 starts.