28-Year-Old Second Baseman – Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Walker hit .251/.339/.418 in 478 at-bats for Pittsburgh in 2013. He belted a career-high 16 homers, but saw his numbers continue to decline against southpaws. The Pittsburgh Kid hit just .225 with a ....
Neil Walker Contract Information:
Reached a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Pirates to avoid salary arbitration in January of 2013.
Walker went 3-for-6 with a home run in Sunday's loss to the Brewers.
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|2014 RotoWire Projections||MAJ||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Neil Walker|
|Career (View All)||MAJ||569||2343||2092||274||570||190||119||11||60||283||21||16||193||405||9||23||26||.272||.338||.426||.764|
|Last 7 Days||29||2||7||0||0||1||3||1||3||0||0||2||0||0||.241||.313||.345||.658|
|Last 14 Days||56||8||15||1||0||5||9||2||7||0||0||2||0||0||.268||.317||.554||.871|
|Last 30 Days||84||12||22||2||0||6||12||4||10||1||0||2||0||0||.262||.311||.500||.811|
Neil Walker: MLB Games Played By Position
Neil Walker Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2014 Stat Review for Neil Walker As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2013 (min 400 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Pittsburgh Pirates Roster
MajorsAlvarez, Pedro (3B)
AAAAndino, Robert (2B)
AAAllie, Stetson (3B)
A+Bell, Joshua (OF)
ABarnes, Barrett (OF)
RookieBrewer, Colten (P)
Career Batter vs. Pitcher Stats (View All Matchup Data)
Best Matchups for Neil Walker (by OPS, min 6 AB)
Worst Matchups for Neil Walker (by OPS, min 6 AB)
Neil Walker: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Walker missed 30 of the Pirates' final 45 games with a herniated disc back injury. He expects to be ready for 2013, but the injury is potentially chronic. When healthy, the Pittsburgh native provides consistent offensive production. Last year, he batted .280/.342/.426 with 14 homers and 69 RBI in 472 at-bats. The 28-year-old will be eligible for arbitration following the 2013 season, giving him further incentive for big numbers. Despite a respectable .280 career batting average, Walker has always struggled with walks and strikeouts and last year was no exception. He posted a 47:104 BB:K, in line with his career numbers. Given that he typically bats ahead of Andrew McCutchen, Walker figures to see more than his fair share of good pitches to hit -- provided he can stay healthy.
The switch-hitting second baseman served as the Pirates' cleanup hitter for much of 2011 and finished with a .273/.334/.408 slash line in 596 at-bats. He hit 12 dingers and drove in 83 runs for a team that struggled to produce offense. Walker batted 60 points higher from the fifth spot than fourth (.314 to .254, respectively). He's one of the better fantasy options available in Pittsburgh and would benefit from the addition of another stick in the lineup. He should come close to his numbers again in 2012 with the upside of a possible .290-300 batting average after he hit .296 as a rookie in 2010.
Walker represented one of the biggest major league surprises in 2010. Flailing away in the minors since being drafted in the first round by Pittsburgh in 2004, time seemed to be running out on the switch-hitter. Combine a dismal 2009 showing with the Bucs - 7-for-35 with one double and no RBI - and it looked like the writing was on the wall. Fast forward to May 2010. Injuries struck the Pirates' infield, and GM Neal Huntington begrudgingly recalled Walker while dubbing him as the team's backup corner infielder. Thanks to Aki Iwamura's failure at second, Walker got a chance at a position he never played in the minors. He took to it like water and wound up giving the team a reliable infielder on both sides of the ball. The Pittsburgh native hit .296/.349/.462 with 29 doubles, 12 home runs and 66 RBI in 426 at-bats. A bulb went off in Walker's head last year, but it would be unwise banking on him as a sure thing, especially given that his career minor league line in seven years is just .273/.322/.441.
Walker's major league debut with the Pirates was downright putrid in 2009. The Pittsburgh native complained about being passed over by current general manager Neal Huntington's draft picks -- Walker was selected by former GM David Littlefield, but his .195/.275/.222 line failed to back up his words. The 24-year-old third baseman is at a crossroads in his career. Super prospect Pedro Alvarez will likely take over third base some time in 2010, leaving Walker looking for another path to the majors. At some point, the Pirates will likely attempt to trade the disappointing 2004 No. 1 draft choice.
No one felt the impact of the Pirates' choice of Pedro Alvarez more than Walker. The Pittsburgh native went from the next in line to third on the organizational depth chart behind Andy LaRoche and Alvarez. General manager Neal Huntington says the moves were simply an attempt to acquire the best players available, but it's clear that the organization hasn't been overly excited with Walker's progress since taking him No. 1 in 2004. Walker did a good job defensively in his first full year at third base after being moved from catcher, but his hitting has stagnated. Still only 23, Walker batted .242 with 16 homers and 80 RBI for Triple-A Indianapolis, but his 29:102 K:BB ratio suggest there's more work to be done. He'll likely spend the 2009 campaign at Triple-A with a chance at a September callup.
Walker rebounded from a poor 2006 season with a strong showing in 2007, considering he switched positions from catcher to third base in spring training. He batted .288/.362/.462 in 117 games at Altoona before struggling the last month of the season at Triple-A, where he hit just .203 in 64 at-bats. The 22-year-old made 25 errors at the hot corner and has plenty of work to do there, though his instincts are good. If the Pirates experiment with Walker fails, there's always the chance the organization could move him to the outfield, where he could concentrate on his offense. It's still too early to say what position will end up playing in the big leagues, but at some point the team will need to find out, especially if his bat forces the Bucs to make a decision. That said, it's unlikely Walker will make his major league debut any earlier than August 2008, if then.
Walker underwent offseason wrist surgery before the 2006 season and lost his power as a result. The switch-hitting catcher ended up missing the season's first six weeks because of the surgery and totaled five home runs between High-A Lynchburg and Double-A Altoona. In 2005 Walker swatted 12 dingers and the Pirates hope his power drop was only a temporary result of his wrist surgery. He'll probably start the 2007 season at Double-A with a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis provided he produces. There's really no spot for him on the Pirates, but the team will gladly make room for him on a regular basis as soon as 2008.
Keeper league alert: Walker batted .301 (12/68/7) for Single-A Hickory in 2005 and could easily move up to Double-A by the end of the 2006 season. He's got both the batting eye and power to make the move to the majors within the next year or two. Because of his athleticism, the Pirates may try him at third base, just to speed his climb to the majors. Walker brings a football mentality to the catching position. He starred at Pine Richland High School, a Pittsburgh suburb, as an all-state wide receiver. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, the switch-hitting catcher has all of the physical tools to succeed at the major-league level, and comes complete with a big-league background -- his dad, Tom, pitched for the Montreal Expos. Still just 20 years of age, the 2004 No. 1 pick participated in the Arizona Fall League against older competition and held his own (hitting .265).
Pittsburgh drafted a local product in Walker with their first pick in the 2004 draft. His tools as a projected backstop are top drawer and his bat was one of the best from the high-school ranks last year. At 19, he is still a few years away but he projects as a solid major league catcher down the road.
The 18-year-old was the top backstop in the 2004 draft and one of the top three high school hitters. He has strong catching tools and projects to be a catcher at the major league level.