In the second half of the 2014 California League preview, we examine the league’s Southern division. While teams in the South are not overloaded with prospects, some of the biggest names in the minor leagues will begin the season here.
High Desert Mavericks
Parent Club: Seattle Mariners
Taijuan Walker started the season with the Mavericks, but only on a rehab assignment. Beyond the Mariners’ top pitching prospect, lefty Tyler Pike is the most recognizable pitcher in the rotation. Just 20 years old, Pike performed well in the Midwest League last season, compiling a 7-4 record and 2.37 ERA in 22 starts for Clinton. He held hitters to a .194 average and struck out 90 in 110 innings as a teenager.
There are few locations friendlier to hitters than High Desert. D.J. Peterson should enjoy his stay, through it could be a short one. The 22-year old corner infielder hit .303/.365/.553 with 13 homers and 47 RBI combined between Everett and Clinton last season. He will be joined by the system’s top catching prospect, Tyler Marlette, as well as outfielder Gabriel Guerrero.