Hultzen shines at Rising Stars Game

Updated: November 6, 2011, 3:38 PM ET
By Keith Law

This year's AFL Rising Stars game proved disappointing, with a number of the best prospects unavailable due to injury and a rough outing from one of the two marquee starters that turned the game into a rout before the first inning was over.

Seattle Mariners left-hander Danny Hultzen was very impressive in two hitless innings, sitting 91-94 and showing more confidence in a solid-average slider at 79-83 that he was throwing at the inner half to right-handed hitters. He was very aggressive in and around the zone with the fastball, and left-handed hitters were clearly uncomfortable against him. The only negative was his changeup, 76-81 mph, which just wasn't the plus pitch it normally is. Our own Jon "Boog" Sciambi asked me on Twitter last night if I thought Hultzen could pitch in the big leagues in 2011. I wouldn't rule it out. His command is good enough, and we're not waiting on any kind of projection. Hultzen is probably the fourth-best starter in the organization for 2012 after Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Jason Vargas.