JACKSON GENERALS: Hultzen, 22, was 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. He has limited opponents a .151 (38x252) batting average, while walking 32 and striking out 79 in 75.1 innings. Hultzen was named Southern Pitcher of the Week in consecutive weeks, May 28-June 3 and June 4-10. 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 also held opponents scoreless in 26.2 consecutive innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen currently leads the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponents batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranks 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, who is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start with Tacoma on Saturday, June 23 at Colorado Springs, 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.
Franklin, 21, hit .322 (66x205) with 25 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 26 RBI in 57 games with Jackson. He was named Southern League Player of the Week, May 28-June 3. He currently ranks 2nd in the Southern League in average (.322) and T3rd with a .394 on-base percentage. Franklin was the starting shortstop in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, going 0x3 with a walk. Franklin was recently named the Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May, an award voted upon by Southern League Field managers. He is the Generals first recipient of the honor since Mike Wilson in June of 2008. He led the Southern League with a .394 average (28x71), which ranked 8th in all of Minor League Baseball in May. He also led the league with a .457 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage, adding up to a 1.105 OPS that was good for second in Double A.
Franklin was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (27th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. In his first 4 professional seasons, he is batting .292 (332x1136) with 191 runs scored, 56 doubles, 19 triples, 35 home runs and 123 RBI in 291 games. Franklin went 4x5 with 3 runs scored, 2 doubles, 1 home run and 4 RBI to earn MVP honors in the 6th-annual Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game in 2011. He entered the 2012 season rated by MLB.com as the No. 52 overall prospect in baseball and the No. 6 shortstop.
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