Seattle Mariners RHP prospect Brandon Maurer has been overlooked for the most part, but is hard to make headlines when you are the same minor league system as guys like Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
At 6’5” 200 lbs, the 22-year-old Maurer was drafted in 23rd round of the 2008 amateur draft. Drafted out of Orange Lutheran HS in Costa Mesa, CA, Maurer has pitched four seasons in the Mariners’ minor league system.
Maurer has a fastball that sits low to mid 90’s, a good curveball, a slider that is still developing and a changeup that could use some work. Maurer has missed bats at a very good rate, averaging 8.4 K/9 in his four minor league seasons. Maurer’s home run rate is another number that pops out, only allowing .6 HR/9.
Pitching in Double-A Jackson last season, Maurer showed great development. Maurer made 24 starts in 2012, in his first eight starts he had an ERA of 4.61, then in his next 16 starts Maurer improved his control and pitch selection, dropping his ERA to 3.07 in that stretch.
Maurer was rated as the No. 10 prospect in Mariners system (MLB.com), but does not have that top-prospect hype like the “Big 3.” Maurer has the consistency and enough minor league experience to make an impact at the MLB level this year, and he is not being babied through every level of the minor leagues like some pitching prospects, so GM Jack Zduriencik will not have a problem with promoting to the big league club next season.
The top of the rotation has been established with Felix Hernandez, Joe Saunders, Hisashi Iwakuma and Blake Beavan. Maurer is listed on the Mariners 40-man roster going into camp, and will be in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation with guys like Hector Noesi, Andrew Carraway and Erasmo Ramirez.