Minor League Prospect Note: Brandon Maurer, RHP, Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Brandon Maurer threw six shutout innings last night for Double-A Jackson, earning the win against Mississippi, allowing three hits and two walks, fanning two. He's been very effective lately (2.40 ERA in last 10 starts) and is having a fine season overall, going 9-2, 3.20 in 24 starts, with a 117/48 K/BB ratio in 138 innings, allowing 133 hits.
Maurer was a 23rd round pick in 2008, from high school in Orange, California. He has good size at 6-5, 200, and he uses that size to generate a 90-95 MPH fastball; he's been up as high as 97 at times. He has three useful secondary pitches: a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. Both breaking pitches flash plus, and the changeup has improved. His command is solid and he's eaten innings without problems this year.
That last point is crucial: injuries dogged Maurer in both 2010 and 2011 and helped keep him off prospect lists. He's had bouts of both elbow and shoulder soreness, and the general idea pre-season was that he might end up as a reliever. His health hasn't been a problem this year, and if that remains true he could develop into a mid-rotation starter. Overall, 2012 has been a great developmental year for this talented 22-year-old. He's somewhere in the Grade B-/B range at this point.