I agree with the "Hultzen first, Paxton second, Walker third" placement, even though Walker is probably the best pitcher of the three.
If Walker is the best pitcher AND he's pitching the best - (which based on K/BB/HR numbers, he is) - exactly why does somebody inferior get promoted ahead of him?
To me that is just another manifestation of the veteran entitlement mindset where appearances trump production.
Fister was promoted because he showed he could throw strikes without giving up HRs.
Pineda was promoted because he showed he could throw strikes without giving up HRs.
Walker is the only one of the three that has really demonstrated that so far. Paxton and Hultzen are having trouble throwing strikes. When they do, they can be devastating. But, if you cannot throw strikes to AA players ... are you going to be able to do so when Pujols or Hamilton or Fielder come to the plate?
Of course, these are small samples of data to go on for 2012. And over the next two months, any one of the three could actually move to the head of the class. But, based on their bodies of work to this point, IMO, Walker is clearly ahead of the other two. If he's the best ... he should be promoted first. To do anything else is harmful fo EVERYONE in the process ... the specific players involved as well as the team.
While I fully support giving kids a fair and reasonable opportunity to adjust to a new level before making a decision, (Noesi and Delabar and Erasmo and Montero etc. should get at least a month of regular play before sending them down) ... when it comes to choices of who to bring up ... good organizations focus primarily on production with prospects. If you bring up the bonus baby JUST because he's a bonus baby, you kill the incentive for everyone else to work hard.
This is why Ackley working his way through AA and AAA and only getting the call AFTER he was hitting .908 in AAA is such a good move. It was not only a plus for Ackley, it was an admission that he was not getting preferential treatment just because he was a high draft pick.
Pineda jumped past guys like French, Baldwin and Seddon because he was outpitching them. THEY knew this. When you're fanning 5 and this kid is fanning 11, it's easy to see why he's getting promoted. And that's important for keeping the talent flowing through the pipeline.
The simple answer is really simple. You promote the one who pitches the best.
The purpose of government is to set the minimum standard of behavior for a society, backed up with the power and authority to police and punish those who fail to meet those minimum standards. The purpose of Religion is to encourage people to exceed those standards voluntarily.
Age 25 - RH - (2B/UT) - (as of 7/13/2014)
Stefen Romero - mnrs - 1475-PA; 82-2B; 53-HR; 251-RBI; 36-SB; 19-CS; 90-BB; 239-K; .305/.355/.507 -- .862
MAJORS - 159-PA; 6-2B; 2-3B; 3-HR; 11-RBI; 0-SB; 3-CS; 4-BB; 40-K; .196/.236/.324 -- .560
Age 23 - LH - (LF) - (as of 7/13/2014)
Dario Pizzano - 2014 - 335-PA; 22-2B; 9-HR; 52-RBI; 0-SB; 0-CS; 47-BB; 39-K; .236/.346/.454 -- .800 (A+/AA)
Dario Pizzano - mnrs - 1116-PA; 80-2B; 21-HR; 151-RBI; 11-SB; 4-CS; 138-BB; 124-K; .298/.389/.474 -- .863
Age 23 - RH - (CF) - (as of 7/13/2014)
Jabari Henry - 2014 - 322-PA; 18-2B; 18-HR; 58-RBI; 4-SB; 6-CS; 44-BB; 62-K; .305/.411/.592 -- 1.003 (A+)
Jabari Henry - mnrs - 1005-PA; 56-2B; 37-HR; 157-RBI; 18-SB; 15-CS; 136-BB; 182-K; .277/.381/.498 -- .879
Age 24 - RH - (OF) - (as of 7/13/2014)
Jabari Blash - 2014 - 299-PA; 14-2B; 0-3B; 17-HR; 57-RBI; 6-SB; 2-CS; 39-BB; 81-K; .228/.351/.492 -- .843 (AA/AAA)
Jabari Blash - mnrs - 1740-PA; 80-2B; 13-3B; 76-HR; 257-RBI; 50-SB; 24-CS; 238-BB; 480-K; .254/.371/.484 -- .855