Paxton Reportedly Inks

Jay Yencich · February 28, 2011 at 1:57 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Do two tweets equate to some kind of confirmation in today’s world? We have one from a former teammate and one from a B.C. area radio personality, so that may qualify. James Paxton has signed, eight days after the date Josh Fields signed in 2009. That falls within deviation, I guess.

Most of what I said last June still holds true now. On the potential he showed two seasons ago, Paxton is easily in the top ten prospects of the system and maybe in the top five, but where Fields was still looking back to a recent college campaign, Paxton had all of 17.2 innings for Grand Prairie last season. Those innings did not constitute a return to form.

What’s next at this point is something that perhaps only Paxton, Boras, and some of the Mariners staff can guess at. We don’t know what kind of condition he’s in. Some Boras clients who have signed late came to camp ready to go. Pedro Alvarez, I seem to remember showing up to the Pirates camp out of shape. Paxton could end up joining the M’s for part of the Cactus League schedule or he could end up working with the coaches for a while and not get immediately assigned when camp breaks. His past history with various minor injuries might suggest the latter, along with a healthy dose of caution in handling him.

The 2009 version of Paxton is our best pitching prospect outside of Pineda. The ’10 version is more like a mid-rotation starter, if that, than a frontline one. Either would be a significant gain for us, though my feeling is that he might take a little longer to contribute than we might like.


12 Responses to “Paxton Reportedly Inks”

  1. Crpls on February 28th, 2011 2:04 am

    Unless he improves his change-up beyond “not worth talking about,” he’s more of a MR guy than a mid-rotation SP.

  2. Jay Yencich on February 28th, 2011 2:12 am

    The scouting reports said that he didn’t use it frequently, not that it was a lacking pitch. I’d still prefer that it be a plus for him considering how vital change-ups tend to be in a left-hander’s repertoire. That’s one of the reasons why I think it could take a little while with him, though.

  3. Carson on February 28th, 2011 7:10 am

    Hey, add talent. The system has plenty of room for high upside kids that could pay off.

    Thanks for this Jay.

    PS – I think your first link is broken. Or, Twitter is acting wonky.

  4. maqman on February 28th, 2011 10:42 am

    I hope he’s worth what they are paying for him. At least his service time clock starts later.

  5. Jay Yencich on February 28th, 2011 11:10 am

    The link worked for me when I was writing the article. It seems like Paxton isn’t signed so much as close to signing, or at least that’s what Doctor KLaw is saying. Hooray for qualifiers in the title.

  6. dnc on February 28th, 2011 2:16 pm

    Churchill’s saying that he’s agreed to terms pending a physical, and that the deals is pretty favorable for the team.

  7. dnc on February 28th, 2011 2:18 pm

    Still hate that we didn’t get Stanek, but this makes the draft a full-fledged success in my opinon. Walker/Littlewood/Paxton/Pryor isn’t a bad top 5 round haul considering where we were drafting (and it sounds like all signed for reasonable numbers). Add Shipers + the 3 big Latin FA’s and the system’s had a strong infusion of talent, even before the Lee trades.

    I hope the team can win enough to keep Jack’s job safe. I really like him restocking the farm system. Very excited to see what comes from this year’s draft.

  8. Jay Yencich on February 28th, 2011 2:58 pm

    I was a Stanek fan too and am disappointed that he didn’t sign, as I was with a few of the other HS arms. The small (itty bitty) consolation is that we get a supplemental third-round pick under the new draft rules and this is supposedly a deep draft.

    I think I’d give this draft around a B.

  9. dnc on February 28th, 2011 3:09 pm

    I’d probably give it a B+ just since they didn’t have a true first rounder but got three top 100 talents (without really having to overpay), but that’s a minimal difference.

    Agreed that the supplemental pick for Stanek should be valuable.

  10. qwerty on February 28th, 2011 9:04 pm

    More on Stanek please?

  11. dnc on March 1st, 2011 12:08 am

    What do you mean more on him? He didn’t sign and has enrolled at Arkansas, so he won’t be draft eligible until 2013. What else do you want to know?

  12. Jay Yencich on March 1st, 2011 12:19 pm

    J-Pax (GET USED TO IT) is headed to Seattle for his physical. It seems like he’ll be getting his NRI too.


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