Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was named to the 2010 Topps Rookie team today. Walker becomes the second Pirates’ rookie to receive the honor in two years, after Andrew McCutchen was named to the 2009 Topps Rookie team. Prior to that, the last Pirates’ rookies to be selected came in 2004 with Jason Bay and Mike Gonzalez.
Walker hit for a .296/.349/.462 line in 426 at-bats during his rookie season, with 12 homers. He was not only one of the top rookies in the majors this year, but also one of the top second basemen. Of the 27 second basemen in the league with 400+ plate appearances, Walker finished 5th in average, 12th in on-base percentage, and 5th in slugging percentage. His fielding was an issue, although he made the jump from third base to second base full time right around the time he was called up to the majors, so poor defensive results can be expected.
The rest of the 2010 team is as follows:
C – Buster Posey, Giants
1B – Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
2B – Walker, Pirates
SS – Starlin Castro, Cubs
3B – Danny Valencia, Twins
OF – Austin Jackson, Tigers
OF – Jason Heyward, Braves
OF – Mike Stanton, Marlins
RH SP – Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
LH SP – Jaime Garcia, Cardinals
RP – Neftali Feliz, Rangers