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03/04/2011 5:59 PM ET
Mariners sign 4th-round draft selection LHP James Paxton
Paxton ranked 3rd in the NCAA in 2009 averaging 13.22 strikeouts per 9.0 innings
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Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has signed left-handed pitcher James Paxton. Paxton was the Mariners 4th-round selection in the 2010 June draft.

Paxton is scheduled to arrive in Peoria, AZ tomorrow and will participate in Major League spring training as a non-roster invite.

Paxton, 22, pitched for the University of Kentucky from 2007-09. During his career with the Wildcats he was 11-5 with a 4.91 ERA (81 ER, 148.1 IP) and 168 strikeouts in 55 games (24 starts). Paxton finished his junior season (2009) ranked 17th in the NCAA and 4th in the Southeastern Conference with 115 strikeouts. He also ranked 3rd in the NCAA averaging 13.22 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.

Paxton was selected 39th overall in the supplemental first round of the 2009 June draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, but didn't sign. He made four starts for Grand Prairie in the independent American Association (1-2 4.08 ERA, 18 SO, 7 BB) prior to the 2010 draft.

He is a native of Ladner, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver 22 miles from the border crossing in Blaine, WA. Paxton attended Delta Secondary School where he helped win BC's Best Tournament Championship as a junior and senior.

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