Tag: Neil Walker
Last night, Nate Rose of Stealing First Base took my recent article regarding Neil Walker and began digging deeper. He went to FanGraphs and took a look at Walker’s plate discipline numbers, wondering whether we should expect his walk rate to improve. Nate noted that Walker does not chase out of the zone all that much, and my interest was piqued.
Neil Walker is having an encouraging 2010 season. He got off to a hot start in Triple-A, hitting .321/.392/.560 in 189 plate appearances. On May 25th, he was promoted to Pittsburgh and soon became the everyday second baseman. The 24-year-old has continued to hit at the major league level, posting a .307/.345/.453 line in his first 194 plate appearances. But just below the surface, there are some underlying concerns.
Apparently, 93.7 The Fan reported this morning that Neil Walker has been recalled from Triple-A, and that Steve Pearce would likely be placed on the DL with a sprained ankle. I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, so take it with a grain of salt for now. it may have just been speculation.
Between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates have a group of eight position players fighting for about five spots in the everyday lineup. Obviously, not all will pan out, but it is difficult to determine exactly which ones will succeed long-term. Luckily, each player comes with some versatility, which gives management some options when filling out a future lineup card.
The Akinori Iwamura acquisition made sense at the time, but things have changed. Even if we factor in expected positive regression, Iwamura is likely to provide slightly below average production for the season. At 31-years-old and on a one-year contract, that’s just not very valuable. It is time to replace Iwamura with the rejuvenated Neil Walker.