Zunino, Franklin, Paxton head AFL roster

Catcher Mike Zunino, shortstop Nick Franklin and left-handed pitcher James Paxton – three of the Mariners top young prospects – head a list of eight Seattle Minor Leaguers who were named to the Peoria Javelinas team on Wednesday as Arizona Fall League rosters were announced.

Zunino, the Mariners top pick and No. 3 overall selection in June’s First-Year Player Draft, has been extremely impressive in his first few weeks at Double-A Jackson after being promoted from Class-A Everett this month.

Franklin, a first-round Draft pick in 2009, played in the AFL last fall as well and then has spent this season at Triple-A Tacoma.

Paxton, a fourth-round selection in 2010, has been pitching for Double-A Jackson this season.

Also named to the Peoria AFL squad were infielders Vinnie Catricala and Stefen Romero, right-handed pitchers Carson Smith and Logan Bawcom and left-hander Bobby LaFromboise.

Romero is a “taxi squad” participant, meaning he’ll be eligible only to play on Wednesday and Saturday games.

There are six different AFL teams and the Mariners are one of five Major League clubs that has representatives on the Peoria squad. The Reds also are affiliated with Peoria, which means speed sensation Billy Hamilton, who has stolen 154 bases in the Minor Leagues this season, will be on that squad as well.

Hamilton will get plenty of attention, but it’s a good chance for some of the Mariners top propsects to get additional playing time this fall as well. Last season, Danny Hultzen and Franklin were among the Seattle players who participated.

You can click here to see the full roster of the Peoria squad.


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