The Atlanta Braves claimed Adam Walker today but is the thunder in his bat enough to make him fourth outfielder they’ve been searching for all winter.
As Dan told you earlier this afternoon the Braves tried to slip Tuffy Gosewisch through waivers and the Seattle Mariners pounced on him. The Braves responded by grabbing Adam Walker off waivers from Baltimore.
I’ve seen some speculation that Walker is the Braves new fourth outfielder but there’s really no reason to expect him to be that guy. The Braves are the third team to claim him this off-season, there’s a reason players move that much and it isn’t always – and in this case definitely not – that team’s rosters are over flowing with talent.
I guess I should back that up so let’s look at Walker’s history and projected future.
A look back at Adam Walker
The Twins selected Walker in the third round of the 2012 draft because he has genuine power – 30+ home run level power. In 2011 at Jacksonville University he hit .409/.486/.682/1.168 , hit 13 home runs 23 doubles, two triples and stole 14 bases without getting caught.
In 2012 he came back to the pack with a .343/.426/.581/1.007 line, 12 homers 14 doubles 42 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
The difference was a result of his BAbip coming back to earth; dropping from .506 in 2011 to .395 in 2012. I don’t know how many college bats have a BAbip over .500 but I’d wager there aren’t many so the fact that he came back to earth shouldn’t have been a surprise or a negative.
In Rookie ball he continued to mash but not unexpectedly his batting average dropped sharply. He finished 2012 with a .250/.310/.496/.805 line, that included 14 homers,seven doubles and four triples in 252 PA. He also stole four bases in four attempts, struck out 76 times and walked just 19.