Our readers have been informing us that they have been enjoying our Minor League Spotlights and today we bring out latest edition with the focus being on AA Bowie Baysox first baseman Christian Walker.
Walker is off to a tremendous start in 2014 and is picking up right where he left off in 2013 frankly, but who is he? Let us educate you a little bit before getting into his numbers.
Now 23 years old, Walker was a fourth round draft for the Baltimore Orioles in the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina where he was part of their back-to-back National Championship teams. Walker has always been a hitter and he has continued that trend in the Orioles organization.
After being drafted in 2012, Walker was able to get in 22 games with the short-season A Aberdeen Ironbirds that year and finished with a .284 average with two home runs and nine RBI with a .376 on base percentage. He immediately began making headlines as he garnered the New York Penn League Player of the Week award in July of 2012.
His success continued in 2013 and he performed so well that he found himself being promoted twice last season. Walker got off to one heck of a start with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds as he hit .353 with three home runs, 20 RBI and boasted a .420 on base percentage in 31 games before being promoted to the High-A Frederick Keys. As a Key, Walker hit .288 with eight home runs, 35 RBI and 17 doubles in 55 games, and wouldn't you know it, got promoted again to Bowie. In 17 games with the Baysox, he cooled off a bit as he hit .242 with just one RBI in 17 games, but it quickly became known that Walker was a name you needed to know.
2013 was good for Walker in the Awards spectrum as well, as he earned Player of the Week in July in the Carolina League with the Keys, was named an MiLB.com Organization All Star, and also garnered a nod to play in the Future's Game, which is a showcase for some of the best talent in the Minor Leagues at the same field the MLB All Star Game is played.
Now jump forward to 2014, and Walker stuck around in Bowie to begin the season there this time around and he has prospered. In 24 games this season thus far, Walker is all over the organizational leader board as he is in the top ten in average as he is hitting .327, while his five home runs leads all Orioles Minor Leaguers, and his 19 RBI rank third. Walker is part of a Baysox offense that has been absolutely tearing it up as they are hitting .306 as a team, which is more than 50 points better than the next closest Orioles' Minor League affiliate.
Walker was named the Eastern Shore League Player of the Week this month for the week ending April 20.
This is a guy who you will see in Baltimore at some point, and more than likely at some point next season. His bat is his best weapon and thus far he has been able to succeed at every level he has played. His power is still developing more and more each year as he projects to be a possible 20-25 home run type of guy.
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