Neil Walker
Neil Walker
35-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Walker saw some improvement over his 2018 output in 2019 as a member of the Marlins, thanks mostly to a hit-rate correction. Walker's BABIP was a career-low .257 in 2018 but rebounded to .316 last season, and that helped mask a career-low contact rate (75.2%). To his credit, Walker walked at a healthy 11% clip, his third straight year with a walk rate in the double digits. Finger and quad injuries sent Walker to the IL twice, and on a Miami club that struggled to manufacture runs, he crossed home plate only 37 times. His defense also graded out poorly. Walker has now fallen short of 400 plate appearances in back-to-back years, and given his declining contact skills and the downturn in production, he will likely struggle to spend much time on a big-league roster. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#601
ADP
$Signed a one-year contract with the Phillies in January of 2020. Released by the Phillies in September of 2020.
Parts ways with Philadelphia
1BFree Agent  
September 14, 2020
Walker elected free agency Monday after refusing an outright assignment to the Phillies' alternate training site.
ANALYSIS
Walker will look to catch on with an organization after he went unclaimed off waivers following the Phillies' decision Friday to designate him for assignment. Before receiving his walking papers, Walker struggled to see the field for Philadelphia, appearing in .231/.244/.308. Given his lackluster production the past few years, his advancing age and his limited defensive flexibility, the 35-year-old Walker's time in the big leagues could be over.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
5
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+38%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+9%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+49%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .530 147 14 1 11 0 .197 .272 .258
Since 2018vs Right .729 673 76 18 76 3 .249 .333 .396
2020vs Left .000 8 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2020vs Right .690 33 4 0 3 0 .290 .303 .387
2019vs Left .684 57 9 0 5 0 .275 .351 .333
2019vs Right .748 324 28 8 33 3 .259 .343 .406
2018vs Left .477 82 4 1 6 0 .164 .244 .233
2018vs Right .713 316 44 10 40 0 .234 .326 .387
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+12%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+19%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .698 410 47 9 42 1 .241 .341 .357
Since 2018Away .686 410 43 10 45 2 .238 .302 .384
2020Home .549 26 3 0 2 0 .240 .269 .280
2020Away .557 15 2 0 1 0 .214 .200 .357
2019Home .696 190 20 4 19 1 .244 .342 .354
2019Away .779 191 17 4 19 2 .277 .346 .434
2018Home .722 194 24 5 21 0 .238 .351 .372
2018Away .608 204 24 6 25 0 .202 .270 .339
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Stat Review
How does Neil Walker compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.08
 
BB Rate
2.4%
 
K Rate
31.7%
 
BABIP
.333
 
ISO
.077
 
AVG
.231
 
OBP
.244
 
SLG
.308
 
OPS
.552
 
wOBA
.240
 
Exit Velocity
82.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
22.2%
 
Barrels/PA
2.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Neil Walker
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
39 days ago
The regular season may be winding down, but the free-agent situation remains busy and Jan Levine discusses plenty of worthy NL candidates.
Bernie on the Scene: National League Trade Chips
54 days ago
With the trade deadline approaching, Bernie Pleskoff looks at what National League teams have to offer, and what they need. Will the Dodgers continue to offer Joc Pederson?
FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Targets
65 days ago
Chris Bennett checks out Tuesday's deep slate and thinks Bryce Harper and the Phillies will take advantage of a matchup with Boston's sketchy pitching staff.
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Braves at Phillies
73 days ago
Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Monday's Braves at Phillies game for Dream11 contests.
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Yankees at Phillies
78 days ago
Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Wednesday's Phillies at Yankees game for Dream11 contests.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
Walker had been at least a two-win player (per FanGraphs) in seven straight seasons prior to 2018, when he logged a 0.1 fWAR in 113 games with the Yankees. His significant dropoff at the plate was only partially supported by the underlying numbers. His 21.9 K% was his worst MLB mark over a full season, but he has a 17.8 K% for his career, and still walked over 10% of the time, so his plate skills did not completely erode. Walker actually posted a higher Hard% (37.9) and lower Soft% (17.4) than he did in 2017, when he slashed .265/.362/.439 across stops with the Mets and Brewers. Leaning on BABIP for single-season evaluations often oversimplifies things, but Walker's .257 BABIP (career .302 mark) seems to be the primary culprit for his extreme dip in production. Unfortunately, he is now a below-average defender at second base, so it may be tough for him to get significant playing time with a team in his age-33 season.
After playing a season and a half with the Mets, Walker was traded to the Brewers in a mid-August move, and he solidified the second base position for the club the rest of the way. He finished the year with his fewest home runs since 2012, but in fairness he was limited for a second straight season by injuries. Over his final stretch of the season with the Brewers, he posted an .842 OPS, heading into free agency on a high note. The Brewers have not ruled out bringing Walker back, but he figures to garner interest from several teams as a veteran switch-hitter. At age 32 and coming off back-to-back injury-shortened seasons, however, it's hard to see his fantasy stock improving much moving forward, but that should still be enough for him to provide value at a second-base position that thins out after the top players come off the board.
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 discs. To that point, he was enjoying an outstanding campaign, matching his career-best 23 homers and sporting the second-best batting average of his career. Despite the procedure requiring a three-month recovery, the Mets extended Walker a qualifying offer for 2017, which he promptly accepted. Walker's 2016 power surge was a result of lofting more batted balls in tandem with recording his highest HR/FB% in the bigs. Walker's home parks are slightly favorable to left-handed power, suggesting he's likely to undergo a regression in HR/FB, regardless of health. If healthy, Walker is a solid middle-infield option, likely available at a discount as many will chase the shining stars populating the second base and shortstop positions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Fantasy News
Designated for assignment
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  
September 11, 2020
Walker was designated for assignment by the Phillies on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Records three hits
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  
September 3, 2020
Walker went 3-for-3 with two RBI on Wednesday as he played a key part in in a 3-0 win over the Nationals.
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Draws rare start
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  
September 2, 2020
Walker will start at first base and will bat eighth Wednesday against the Nationals, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up another start
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  
August 9, 2020
Walker will start at second base and bat seventh in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against the Braves.
ANALYSIS
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Makes Opening Day roster
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  
July 18, 2020
Walker will be on the Phillies' Opening Day roster, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports.
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