Taylor Walls

Taylor Walls

27-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Tampa Bay Rays
Out
Injury Hip
Est. Return 4/20/2024
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Walls' minor-league reputation as an elite defender with a good eye and speed continues to ring true in the big leagues, though he's failed to build on it. He produced 10 DRS between shortstop, second and third base last season and had a 12.7 percent walk rate and 22 steals in 99 games. The switch-hitter was otherwise forgettable offensively with eight homers, 36 RBI, 50 runs and a .201/.305/.333 slash line. A 28.3 percent hard-hit rate and 3.3 percent barrel rate also don't paint a pretty underlying picture. Walls' ceiling seems to be trending toward that of a utility infielder, and he could still provide some niche fantasy value with steals if he sees enough playing time. The availability of Wander Franco remains up in the air heading into 2024 after finishing last season on administrative leave, leaving the Rays with a major gap at shortstop. Walls will surely be in the mix, but top prospect Junior Caminero could be the favorite for the job. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#504
ADP
$Signed a one-year contract with the Rays in March of 2023.
Expected in mid-April
SSTampa Bay Rays
Hip
February 13, 2024
Walls (hip) is expected to take the field within two or three weeks of the start of the regular season, MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Walls is recovering from hip surgery and won't be ready to take the field on Opening Day. There hasn't been much detailed information about his rehab, but he has resumed defensive work while taking swings off a tee. He's also begun running to test the range of motion in his hip. Assuming he remains on track, Walls shouldn't miss much time and will compete with Jose Caballero for the starting shortstop job once activated from the injured list.
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Batting Stats
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2023
2022
2021
2020
2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Minor League 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
4
18
27
14
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
5
5
4
9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2021
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+32%
OPS vs LHP
2022
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2021vs Left .626 299 37 3 26 8 .210 .319 .307
Since 2021vs Right .579 691 81 14 58 28 .180 .276 .302
2023vs Left .777 92 19 2 11 5 .263 .352 .425
2023vs Right .588 257 31 6 25 17 .179 .288 .300
2022vs Left .533 137 12 1 9 0 .164 .292 .241
2022vs Right .560 328 41 7 24 10 .175 .258 .302
2021vs Left .607 70 6 0 6 3 .230 .329 .279
2021vs Right .612 106 9 1 9 1 .198 .305 .308
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2021
 
 
+21%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+18%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+97%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+28%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2021Home .654 464 61 9 45 16 .213 .316 .338
Since 2021Away .540 526 57 8 39 20 .169 .265 .275
2023Home .581 168 24 1 10 11 .181 .327 .254
2023Away .683 181 26 7 26 11 .218 .283 .400
2022Home .753 212 31 7 25 3 .245 .322 .431
2022Away .382 253 22 1 8 7 .110 .222 .160
2021Home .534 84 6 1 10 2 .189 .277 .257
2021Away .681 92 9 0 5 2 .231 .348 .333
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Stat Review
How does Taylor Walls 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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.48
 
BB Rate
12.6%
 
K Rate
26.4%
 
BABIP
.261
 
ISO
.132
 
AVG
.201
 
OBP
.305
 
SLG
.333
 
OPS
.638
 
wOBA
.290
 
Exit Velocity
86.7 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
25.4%
 
Barrels/PA
2.0%
 
Expected BA
.203
 
Expected SLG
.298
 
Sprint Speed
24.3 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
35.2%
 
Line Drive %
18.6%
 
Fly Ball %
46.2%
 
Prospect Rankings History
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 Taylor Walls See More
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
Walls came up through the Rays system with the reputation as an elite defender as well as someone with a discernable eye at the plate willing to accept his walks and use his speed on the bases. The willingness to accept walks, the defense and steals have carried over to the major league level but little else. Walls has been a well below-average offensive player in nearly 650 major league plate appearances with a career .182/.281/.288 triple-slash line. The double-digit walk rate allowed him to steal 10 bags, but he also now holds the record for the lowest OBP in a single season for a player with at least 50 walks in a season (2022 Joey Gallo is 2nd.) His defense keeps him in the lineup nearly everyday, and his speed is a fantasy asset, but that is the only area where you can legitimately expect fantasy value while he likely hits 9th in the lineup until his bat shows some kind of life as even his xBA's on all pitch types are barely over the Mendoza line. This is the type of player you let someone else roster and tip your cap to them if it pans out.
Walls is among a glut of young middle infield talent in the Rays' organization, though he has also played third base while rising through the minors and the early portion of his major-league career. That versatility may help him cut through some of the competition for playing time, particularly because he is regarded as an above-average defender. As for his bat, Walls will be reliant upon his hit tool and speed to produce in the fantasy context. He never hit more than 10 home runs in a full minor-league season, and when his ISO jumped in Double and Triple-A, his strikeout rate followed suit. Even with an elevated strikeout rate, Walls regularly posted an on-base percentage of over .330 - and often well in excess of that mark - thanks to excellent patience at the plate. In combination with his speed, Walls' ability to get on base will be his clearest path to fantasy value. In contrast to his power, there is a track record of Walls posting double-digit stolen bases, and he managed to do so at every level of the minors. The remaining two hurdles are a lack of consistent playing time and some struggles with efficiency on the basepaths, both of which will be keys to monitor his potential production both in 2022 and into the future.
Walls spent the 2020 campaign training at the Rays' alternate site following three minor-league seasons during which he established himself as a steady fielder and patient hitter with plus speed. The 24-year-old isn't likely to hit for much power, but he brings a professional approach to the plate that has thus far resulted in a 12.1 BB% and 18.3 K% in the minors. From a fantasy perspective, Walls' best attribute is probably his above-average speed that he converted into 59 stolen bases in 86 attempts between 2018 and 2019. Tampa Bay protected him from the Rule 5 draft in November, an indication that they see him contributing at the major-league level, perhaps as soon as next season. Once he arrives, Walls could fill a super-utility role, but he may not offer enough in terms of offensive production to excite as a fantasy asset.
More Fantasy News
Not expected for Opening Day
SSTampa Bay Rays
Hip
January 16, 2024
Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander revealed last week that it's "unlikely" Walls (hip) will be ready for Opening Day, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Progressing with rehab
SSTampa Bay Rays
Hip
December 5, 2023
Rays manager Kevin Cash said Tuesday that Walls (hip) is on track to be ready for the beginning of the 2024 season, Steve Carney of StPeteNine.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Recovering from hip surgery
SSTampa Bay Rays
Hip
October 30, 2023
Walls underwent right hip surgery Monday and is expected to return to participating in baseball activities in February, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Gets start at shortstop
SSTampa Bay Rays
October 3, 2023
Walls is starting at shortstop and batting seventh in Tuesday's AL Wild Card Series opener versus the Rangers.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting amid slump
SSTampa Bay Rays
September 29, 2023
Walls is absent from the lineup Friday at Toronto.
ANALYSIS
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