MLB Seattle Mariners

5 Things Seattle Mariners Fans Need to Know About Taijuan Walker

5 Things Seattle Mariners Fans Need to Know About Taijuan Walker

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Getty Images

This up and coming Seattle Mariners team has a plethora or young arms on their roster and Taijuan Walker is one of the gems. He's shown flashes of greatness, but he's also shown times of struggle and the Mariners need him back in the majors as soon as possible. Check out the five things you need to know about Walker as he tries to become MLB's next top pitcher.

5. Command is an Issue, but it's Curable

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Command is an Issue, but it's Curable

taijuan walker mariners
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, the biggest knock on Walker is his inability to consistently hit the strike zone. In four starts this season, he's had two games with two walks issued, one game with five walks issued and one game with six. It's obvious that nerves are a big reason for his command problem, but he if he needs to take some mph of his fastball, then so be it, but he needs to improve his command.

4. The Mariners Hold Him in High Regard

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

4. The Mariners Hold Him in High Regard

taijuan walker practice
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

During the offseason and around the trade deadline, Walker's name always comes up in trades. A lot of teams want the young pitcher, but the Mariners didn't want to cut ties with him just yet. There were rumors of a Walker-David Price trade around the deadline, but the Mariners have high hopes for Walker and didn't want to give him up.

3. He Has the Tools to be Great

taijuan walker rookie
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. He Has the Tools to be Great

taijuan walker rookie
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Walker has some nasty stuff on the mound, he has a mid-90s fastball, curve and change, and right now he working on adding a cut fastball to his resume. He's known for being a high-strikeout guy and he still makes a lot of batters swing even at the major-league level. In triple-A, he had 64 strikeouts in 53 1-3 innings so the stuff is there, but since he walks a lot of batters, his pitch count is constantly high.

2. He's Only 21 Years Old

taijuan walker futures game
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2. He's Only 21 Years Old

taijuan walker futures game
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

You may not believe me, but Walker is only 21 years old. Yes, I did say 21 and that is why he is so valued by the M's. Walker was the fourth-ranked prospect in 2011, so his talent is highly respected, but it's very hard for a guy that young to become an ace so early in his career. Walker needs some time, development and consistency if he hopes to find himself atop the Mariners' rotation sooner than later.

1. Walker is Not Felix Hernandez

taijuan walker felix hernandez
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1. Walker is Not Felix Hernandez

taijuan walker felix hernandez
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The fans and media need to understand that Walker is Walker; he will never be Felix Hernandez. Walker has some similarities to Hernandez in terms of strikeouts and pedigree, but he won't be King Felix and I don't expect him to. Often, young players are hyped up to resemble another great player on their team and often the pressure gets the them. Walker need to be himself, stick to his game and learn from Hernandez, but not copy him.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. He also adds to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.