RotoWire Partners

Neil Walker

32-Year-Old Second Baseman – Milwaukee Brewers

2017 Stats

AVG

.268

HR

14

RBI

49

R

56

SB

0

2017 Preseason Projections

AVG

HR

RBI

R

SB

2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Walker was acquired by the Mets to replace the departed Daniel Murphy at second base. His season ended prematurely in late August, and he needed back surgery in early September to repair herniated dis...

Read more about Neil Walker

LEAGUE: Majors   40 MAN: YES   BATS: B   THROWS: R   HT: 6' 3"   WT: 210   DOB: 9/10/1985   BORN: Pittsburgh, PA   COLLEGE: None   DRAFTED: 1st Rd    Show ContractHide Contract

$

Neil Walker Contract Information:

Accepted the Mets' one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer in November of 2016.

September 24, 2017  –  Neil Walker News

▼ More

RotoWire Fantasy Analysis

+ Add To Watchlist

Walker is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Cubs.

To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Neil Walker – simply subscribe now.

Neil Walker Stats
OPTIONS:   Show Partial SeasonsHide Partial Seasons      Show Minor League StatsHide Minor League Stats       Show 5x5 Stats OnlyShow All Statistics       Click stat headings to sort columns.
Year Age Lg Tm G PA AB R H XBH 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO SH SF HBP AVG OBP SLG OPS
2004 18 A WIL 8 36 33 2 10 3 3 0 0 7 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 .303 .333 .394 .727
2005 19 A LYN 9 42 42 4 11 3 2 1 0 12 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 .262 .244 .357 .601
2005 19 A HIC 120 505 485 78 146 47 33 2 12 68 7 4 20 71 0 0 0 .301 .332 .452 .784
2006 20 A A 72 283 264 32 75 26 22 1 3 35 3 5 19 41 0 0 0 .284 .345 .409 .754
2006 20 AA ALT 10 32 31 5 5 2 0 0 2 3 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 .161 .188 .355 .543
2007 21 AA ALT 117 490 431 77 124 46 30 3 13 66 9 4 53 73 1 5 0 .288 .362 .462 .824
2007 21 AAA IND 19 69 64 7 13 3 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 13 0 0 3 .203 .261 .250 .511
2008 22 AAA IND 133 550 505 69 122 48 25 7 16 80 10 6 29 102 4 10 2 .242 .280 .414 .694
2009 23 R GCL 8 31 30 2 5 3 2 0 1 1 0 1 1 5 0 0 0 .167 .219 .333 .552
2009 23 AAA IND 94 385 352 38 93 47 31 2 14 69 5 2 25 60 1 6 1 .264 .310 .483 .793
2009 23 MAJ PIT 17 40 36 5 7 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 11 0 0 0 .194 .275 .222 .497
2010 24 AAA IND 43 189 168 25 54 26 18 2 6 26 10 1 19 31 0 1 1 .321 .392 .560 .952
2010 24 MAJ PIT 110 469 426 57 126 44 29 3 12 66 2 3 34 83 2 4 3 .296 .349 .462 .811
2011 25 MAJ PIT 159 662 596 76 163 52 36 4 12 83 9 6 54 112 0 8 4 .273 .334 .408 .742
2012 26 MAJ PIT 129 530 472 62 132 41 27 0 14 69 7 5 47 104 1 8 2 .280 .342 .426 .768
2013 27 AA ALT 4 13 12 0 5 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 .417 .462 .500 .962
2013 27 AAA IND 3 11 9 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 .222 .364 .333 .697
2013 27 MAJ PIT 133 551 478 62 120 44 24 4 16 53 1 2 50 85 5 3 15 .251 .339 .418 .757
2014 28 A+ BRA 1 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 .250 .400 .250 .650
2014 28 MAJ PIT 137 571 512 74 139 51 25 3 23 76 2 2 45 88 1 2 11 .271 .342 .467 .809
2015 29 MAJ PIT 151 603 543 69 146 51 32 3 16 71 4 1 44 110 0 8 8 .269 .328 .427 .755
2016 30 MAJ NYM 113 458 412 57 116 33 9 1 23 55 3 1 42 84 0 3 1 .282 .347 .476 .823
2017 31 AAA LAS 5 20 19 4 5 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 .263 .300 .316 .616
2017 31 MAJ NYM 73 299 265 40 70 25 13 2 10 36 0 1 27 47 1 2 4 .264 .339 .442 .781
2017 31 MAJ MIL 33 126 104 16 29 11 7 0 4 13 0 1 21 28 0 0 1 .279 .405 .462 .867
2017  (Multiple Teams) 31 MAJ NYM/MIL 106 425 369 56 99 36 20 2 14 49 0 2 48 75 1 2 5 .268 .358 .447 .806
Today's Projections     Subscribe now to see Today's projected stats for Neil Walker
Next 7 Days     Subscribe now to see our Next 7 Days projections for Neil Walker
Rest Of Season     Subscribe now to see our Rest Of Season projections for Neil Walker
Preseason     Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Neil Walker
3-Year Averages     133 542 489 66 133 44 22 2 20 67 3 1 43 94 0 4 6 .272 .336 .448 .784
Career  (View All)     1055 4,309 3,844 518 1,048 353 203 20 130 522 29 22 368 752 10 38 49 .273 .341 .437 .778

Age is determined on July 1st of each season.       Jump To:     ▼ Advanced Stats      ▼ Games By Position

No No Yes
Neil Walker Game Log    (View Full Game Log)
# of Games To Display:    Show 7Show 7    Show 14Show 14    Show 30Show 30
DATE OPP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS HBP SF E AVG OBP SLG OPS
Sep. 23 ChC 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 .268 .358 .447 .805
Sep. 22 ChC 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .269 .360 .451 .811
Sep. 21 ChC 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .269 .360 .450 .810
Sep. 20 @Pit 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .264 .355 .447 .802
Sep. 19 @Pit 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .265 .354 .448 .802
Sep. 18 @Pit 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 .268 .357 .453 .810
Sep. 17 @Mia Did not play.
Sep. 16 @Mia 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .265 .356 .452 .808
Sep. 15 @Mia 4 1 2 0 0 1 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .266 .355 .454 .809
Sep. 13 Pit 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .263 .352 .444 .796
Sep. 12 Pit 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .263 .349 .442 .791
Sep. 11 Pit Did not play.
Sep. 10 @ChC 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 .265 .350 .446 .796
Sep. 9 @ChC Did not play.
Sep. 8 @ChC 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267 .351 .450 .801
Sep. 6 @Cin 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 .270 .352 .455 .807
Sep. 5 @Cin 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 .269 .352 .446 .798
Sep. 4 @Cin 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .272 .351 .451 .802
Sep. 3 Was 4 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .272 .353 .450 .803
Sep. 2 Was 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .269 .351 .443 .794
Sep. 1 Was 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .271 .349 .446 .795
Aug. 31 Was 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .270 .348 .437 .785
Aug. 30 StL 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 .271 .349 .439 .788
Aug. 29 StL 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 .275 .353 .444 .797
Aug. 27 @LAD 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .277 .356 .449 .805
Aug. 26 @LAD 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .277 .354 .450 .804
Aug. 25 @LAD 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .276 .352 .448 .800
Aug. 23 @SF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .280 .356 .454 .810
Aug. 22 @SF 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .281 .358 .455 .813
Aug. 21 @SF 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .278 .354 .451 .805
Last 7 Games 22 4 7 1 0 0 1 3 9 0 0 0 0 0 .318 .400 .364 .764
Last 14 Games 36 7 10 2 0 1 5 9 13 0 0 0 0 0 .278 .422 .417 .839
Last 30 Games 84 14 20 7 0 3 8 18 27 0 0 1 0 2 .238 .379 .429 .808

Neil Walker: MLB Games Played By Position

Year C 1B 2B 3B SS OF LF CF RF DH
2017 14 91 4
2016 111
2015 146
2014 135
2013 132
2012 125 1
2011 159
2010 105 6
2009 9

Jump To:     ▲ Basic Stats      ▲ Split Stats      ▼ Advanced Stats

Neil Walker Split Stats    (View Full Split Stats)

Vs. Left

Year AB R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OPS
2017807050.225.313.631
2016100148162.330.6101.001
2015938090.237.290.575

Vs. Right

Year AB R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OPS
20172804714440.282.489.861
20163124315391.266.433.766
20154506116624.276.456.793

Home

Year AB R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OPS
2017188257250.239.420.741
20162142610333.290.467.830
2015260408251.258.400.732

Away

Year AB R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OPS
2017172297240.302.483.884
20161983113220.273.485.815
2015283298463.279.452.777
Neil Walker vs. Today's Pitcher Stats

Pitcher Team AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jose Quintana CHI-N 5 1 0 0 1 1 1 3 0 0 .200 .333 .800 1.133

Jump To:     ▲ Basic Stats      ▲ Split Stats      ▲ Advanced Stats

Neil Walker Advanced Stats
OPTIONS:   Show Partial SeasonsHide Partial Seasons      Show Minor League StatsHide Minor League Stats      Click stat headings to sort columns.
Year Age Lg Tm PA AB Walk Rate Strikeout Rate BB/K Ratio Contact Rate BABIP Isolated Power
2004 18 A WIL 36 33 5.6% 2.8% 2.00 97% .303 .091
2005 19 A LYN 42 42 0% 28.6% 0.00 71% .367 .095
2005 19 A HIC 505 485 4% 14.1% 0.28 85% .333 .151
2006 20 A A 283 264 6.7% 14.5% 0.46 84% .327 .125
2006 20 AA ALT 32 31 3.1% 12.5% 0.25 87% .120 .194
2007 21 AA ALT 490 431 10.8% 14.9% 0.73 83% .317 .174
2007 21 AAA IND 69 64 2.9% 18.8% 0.15 80% .255 .047
2008 22 AAA IND 550 505 5.3% 18.5% 0.28 80% .267 .172
2009 23 R GCL 31 30 3.2% 16.1% 0.20 83% .167 .166
2009 23 AAA IND 385 352 6.5% 15.6% 0.42 83% .278 .219
2009 23 MAJ PIT 40 36 10% 27.5% 0.36 69% .280 .028
2010 24 AAA IND 189 168 10.1% 16.4% 0.61 82% .364 .239
2010 24 MAJ PIT 469 426 7.2% 17.7% 0.41 81% .340 .166
2011 25 MAJ PIT 662 596 8.2% 16.9% 0.48 81% .315 .135
2012 26 MAJ PIT 530 472 8.9% 19.6% 0.45 78% .326 .146
2013 27 AA ALT 13 12 7.7% 15.4% 0.50 83% .500 .083
2013 27 AAA IND 11 9 18.2% 9.1% 2.00 89% .250 .111
2013 27 MAJ PIT 551 478 9.1% 15.4% 0.59 82% .274 .167
2014 28 A+ BRA 5 4 20% 20% 1.00 75% .333 .000
2014 28 MAJ PIT 571 512 7.9% 15.4% 0.51 83% .288 .196
2015 29 MAJ PIT 603 543 7.3% 18.2% 0.40 80% .306 .158
2016 30 MAJ NYM 458 412 9.2% 18.3% 0.50 80% .302 .194
2017 31 AAA LAS 20 19 5% 5% 1.00 95% .278 .053
2017 31 MAJ NYM 299 265 9% 15.7% 0.57 82% .286 .178
2017 31 MAJ MIL 126 104 16.7% 22.2% 0.75 73% .347 .183
2017  (Multiple Teams) 31 MAJ NYM/MIL 425 369 11.3% 17.6% 0.64 80% .301 .179
Today's Projections     Subscribe now to see Today's projected stats for Neil Walker
Next 7 Days     Subscribe now to see our Next 7 Days projections for Neil Walker
Rest Of Season     Subscribe now to see our Rest Of Season projections for Neil Walker
Preseason     Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Neil Walker
3-Year Averages     542 489 7.9% 17.3% 0.46 81% .298 .176
Career     4,309 3,844 8.5% 17.5% 0.49 80% .306 .164

Age is determined on July 1st of each season.       Jump To:     ▲ Basic Stats      ▲ Split Stats      ▲ Games By Position

No No

Neil Walker Defensive Stats

Year Pos Inn PMFinal (?) EXP Tot (?) PM (?) AirPM (?) EPM (?) InnHome (?) PMH (?) InnLHP (?) PMLHP (?) LEFT (?) MID (?) RGHT (?)
2015 2B 1224.7 -8 257 -6 -2 0 630 5 461 -1 -5 -6 6
2016 2B 961.7 2 213 2 0 0 528 0 184 -2 -6 8 0
2017 1B 50 0 4 0 0 0 24 -1 5 0 0 0 0
2017 2B 123.3 -3 22 -3 0 0 42 0 13 0 -3 0 0
2017 3B 16.3 0 1 0 0 0 16 0 1 0 0 0 0
2017 1B 10.7 0 1 0 0 0 10 0 1 0 0 0 0
2017 2B 581.3 -5 113 -5 0 0 330 0 108 3 -7 4 -2
2017 3B 18 1 1 1 0 1 9 0 2 0 0 0 0
Year Pos SHAL (?) MED (?) DEEP (?) CERS (?) SBRS (?) PSBRS (?) BRS (?) GDPRS (?) OFARS (?) GFPDMERS (?) PMRS (?) SZRS (?) TRS (?)
2015 2B 0 1 3 -6 0 -2
2016 2B 0 -1 -1 2 0 0
2017 1B 0 0 0 -1 0 -1
2017 2B 0 0 0 -2 0 -2
2017 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 1B 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 2B 0 0 1 -4 0 -3
2017 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0

Jump To:     ▲ Basic Stats      ▲ Split Stats      ▲ Advanced Stats

2017 Stat Review for Neil Walker    As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2016 (min 410 PA)

Plate Discipline

Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.

Explain This

0.64 BB/K
GREAT
11.3% BB Rate
GREAT
17.6% K Rate
GOOD
OPS/OBP

A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.

Explain This

.806 OPS
GOOD
.358 OBP
GOOD
Contact

Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.

Explain This

.268 AVG
AVERAGE
.301 BABIP
AVERAGE
 
Power

SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.

Explain This

.447 SLG
AVERAGE
.179 ISO
AVERAGE

Milwaukee Brewers Roster

Neil Walker: Past News Updates   ( ▲ View most recent update )

Walker is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Pirates.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Marlins.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Marlins.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker went 2-for-4 with a walk and a grand slam in Friday's 10-2 win over the Marlins.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup for Monday's game against the Pirates.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Cubs.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Wednesday's loss to the Reds.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup Thursday against the Nationals.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Giants.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is out of Sunday's lineup against the Rockies.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in Wednesday's win over the Pirates.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Walker is starting at third base and batting cleanup during Sunday's game against the Reds.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
The Brewers agreed to a trade to acquire Walker from the Mets on Saturday, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com reports.

Exclusive Fantasy Analysis

Subscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.

RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks

2017

Subscribe now to see our 2017 outlook.

2016

Through the first half of 2015, Walker batted .259 with four homers and 24 RBI. By season’s end, the second baseman finished with his customary line: .269 BA, 16 homers and 71 RBI. In fact, Walker’s .158 ISO ranked second behind only Andrew McCutchen (.196) among qualified players in Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old will be looking to put up representative numbers as he enters his first season with the Mets following an offseason trade, and owners can expect another typical campaign from the reliable Walker, but beware he could lose out on at-bats against lefties after managing just a .237/.284/.290 line against southpaws in 2015.

2015

Walker led all major league second basemen with 23 homers and finished second at the position in the NL with an .809 OPS. He compiled a .271/.342/.467 line in 512 at-bats while playing in 137 games (the second-highest total in his six seasons) and his .195 ISO represented a career high. After batting just .225 from the right side in 2013, the switch-hitter improved to .280. Back injuries are always a concern with Walker, but he's proven to be a reliable fantasy option over the past several campaigns. His defense has slipped in recent years (-8.4 UZR/150) and he could be moved to the outfield at some point in the future. For now, though, Walker remains one of the better second basemen in the league.

2014

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 .518 OPS in 80 at-bats against lefties and struggled so mightily that the Bucs benched him on occasion. As a left-handed batter, Walker hit all 16 of his longballs and compiled an impressive .805 OPS. Overall, his 50:85 BB:K ratio was the best of his five-year career. Given that Walker entered 2013 as a question mark because of a herniated disc injury, his season wasn't too shabby. He made $3.3 million last year and that price tag could force him out of the Pirates' plans at some point. For now, though, he figures to serve as Pittsburgh's primary second baseman yet again in 2014.

2013

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.

2012

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.

2011

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.

2010

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.

2009

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.

2008

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.

2007

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.

2006

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).

2005

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.

2004

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.