FOUR & MORE: Best Inland Area MiLB’ers

OPENING DAY 2012

1. Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners — The 6-foot-4, 210-pound left-hander was selected his organization’s Pitcher of the Year following a 2011 season in which he struck out 113 batters in 96.2 innings with the Clinton (Iowa) of the Low Single-A Midwest League. The Yucaipa HS alum should be hurling in the bigs by the end of next season.

2. Matt Davidson, Arizona Diamondbacks — Had a breakout season with Visalia (Ca.) in the High Single-A California League, batting .277 with 20 HRs and 106 RBI in 135 games. Another Yucaipa HS graduate, the D’backs have time to wait and watch this 6-foot-3, 225-pound 21-year-old.

3. Jake Marisnick, Toronto Blue Jays — The 67th-rated prospect by Baseball America, this 6-foot-4, 200-pound outfiefielder tore up Low Single-A Midwest League pitching last season, batting .320 with 47 XBHs and 77 RBI in 118 games for Lansing (Mich.). The Riverside Poly HS alum looks like the Jay’s sure-fire centerfielder of the future.

4. Matt Hobgood, Baltimore Orioles — The big 6-foot-4, 225-pound flame-thrower had some issues and only 22 batters in 37 innings last season. He had a stunning career at Norco HS, both on the mound and at the plate, but has yet to have a professional plate appearance in 42 career games.

AND MORE: Tyler Chatwood, Colorado Rockies — Pitched well in spots for the Los Angeles Angels, who traded the 6-foot, 180-pound pitcher to the Rockies in the offseason. A Redlands East Valley HS graduate, he’ll likely spend most of his time in Triple-A Colorado Springs (Colo.) of the Pacific Coast League this season.

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