Hultzen was selected second overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2011 draft. A surgery in 2013 to repair his rotator cuff, shoulder capsule, and labrum came after a solid year in Triple-A in Tacoma, WA (2.05 ERA, 34 strikeouts in just over 30 innings) and kept him out in 2014.
Injury issues persisted, leading to a second surgery in 2016 that effectively ended his career. “It’s just a setback,’’ Hultzen told the Seattle Times before his second surgery. “It’s obviously super-frustrating, because I’ve been doing everything I can. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I know I’m doing everything I can, and whatever happens is going to happen. I’m not going to look back and say I wish I’d done something more, because I know I’m doing everything I can.”
Hultzen returned to Charlottesville and UVA to finish his bachelor’s degree. He’s been working out at Virginia’s facilities in an effort to get a second shot at the MLB, and thanks to the Cubs (and their minor-league pitching coordinator Terry Clark), he’s got one.
Hultzen finished his career at Virginia with a 2.08 ERA with 395 strikeouts and a 32-5 record. Good luck, Danny!