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Article: Adam Walker: Power and Potential

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:19 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...r-and-Potential

#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:14 AM

I'd be curious what his splits are from when he was below the mendozaa line till now. His overall stats don't say much, but he got off to a terrible start and now has respectable numbers... in a pitchers league I might add.

It will be interesting to see if he starts next season in AA or if he returns to Fort Meyers. He seems like a good kid. I hope he succeeds.

Side note, and slightly off topic, but the 2012 class was considered pretty weak. With Buxton and Berrios likely top 100 candidates, and Walker probably falling into the 'honorable mention' category, I think the Twins came out pretty good.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:18 AM

Side note, and slightly off topic, but the 2012 class was considered pretty weak. With Buxton and Berrios likely top 100 candidates, and Walker probably falling into the 'honorable mention' category, I think the Twins came out pretty good.


Yeah... I think "pretty good" is an understatement. Any draft that nets Buxton and Berrios is outstanding, with or without Walker.

I'm still pretty skeptical about Walker given his OBP issues, age (22 in A+), and strikeout tendencies. That doesn't bode well as pitchers get smarter and better further up the MiLB ladder.

Either way, he's an interesting guy to keep an eye on, that's for sure.

#4 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:59 AM

I hope Walker makes it to the big leagues and is a success as a major leaguer. However, he already is a success in life. What a nice article about a fine young man, who happens to be a baseball player.

#5 chopper0080

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

Yeah... I think "pretty good" is an understatement. Any draft that nets Buxton and Berrios is outstanding, with or without Walker.

I'm still pretty skeptical about Walker given his OBP issues, age (22 in A+), and strikeout tendencies. That doesn't bode well as pitchers get smarter and better further up the MiLB ladder.

Either way, he's an interesting guy to keep an eye on, that's for sure.


Yes, and I feel that his ability to drive in runs is what is going to make him a success over time. Two things are in demand right now in Major League baseball, one being power and two being the ability to capitalize on pitcher's mistakes. Walker is not going to be a .325 hitter, but there aren't as many of those as their used to be. What Walker is going to become is a hitter who, when the pitcher makes a mistake pitch, will be able to crush it and do significant damage. The ability to do that is what will make him stick in my opinion.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

Yes, and I feel that his ability to drive in runs is what is going to make him a success over time. Two things are in demand right now in Major League baseball, one being power and two being the ability to capitalize on pitcher's mistakes. Walker is not going to be a .325 hitter, but there aren't as many of those as their used to be. What Walker is going to become is a hitter who, when the pitcher makes a mistake pitch, will be able to crush it and do significant damage. The ability to do that is what will make him stick in my opinion.


Three true outcome players are valuable. See Dunn, Adam.

My only question is whether Walker is a two true outcome player, which isn't nearly as valuable (and often turns the player into a bench bat).

#7 Willihammer

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

I love hearing about guys with tape measure power. Seems like we don't get many of them (not that they grow on trees)

#8 twinsfan34

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

Dunn gets a few too many BB's for my Walker comp.

My comp: Half-Caff Jose Abreu

http://www.baseball-...abreujo02.shtml

#9 Dantes929

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

Roy Smalley made a very interesting comment about hitting in the clutch with a guy on 3rd and less than two outs. He said you should time your swing for a fastball over the plate or the outside corner and think hit up the middle or to the opposite field. That way you are ready for outside stuff and breaking balls and the only pitch you are susceptible to are good inside fastballs. If you are ready to pound on inside fastballs you are going to make outs on so many more pitches. Sure enough Dozier was a little slow on an inside fastball that he might normally have hit out of the park but still got the run in from 3rd which was the main goal. Good piece of hitting and interesting approach. I have seen way too many strikeouts the last few years from guys trying to pull it out of the park when a base hit, sac fly or even grounder to a middle infielder was all that was needed.

#10 Brandon

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

Yeah... I think "pretty good" is an understatement. Any draft that nets Buxton and Berrios is outstanding, with or without Walker.

I'm still pretty skeptical about Walker given his OBP issues, age (22 in A+), and strikeout tendencies. That doesn't bode well as pitchers get smarter and better further up the MiLB ladder.

Either way, he's an interesting guy to keep an eye on, that's for sure.


There should also be some relievers from that draft too.

#11 drivlikejehu

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:27 AM

Sounds like a great guy. Unfortunately his plate discipline problems make him one of the more overrated prospects in the system.

#12 oldguy10

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

Roy Smalley made a very interesting comment about hitting in the clutch with a guy on 3rd and less than two outs. He said you should time your swing for a fastball over the plate or the outside corner and think hit up the middle or to the opposite field. That way you are ready for outside stuff and breaking balls and the only pitch you are susceptible to are good inside fastballs. If you are ready to pound on inside fastballs you are going to make outs on so many more pitches. Sure enough Dozier was a little slow on an inside fastball that he might normally have hit out of the park but still got the run in from 3rd which was the main goal. Good piece of hitting and interesting approach. I have seen way too many strikeouts the last few years from guys trying to pull it out of the park when a base hit, sac fly or even grounder to a middle infielder was all that was needed.


Kudos to Smalley for his insight on a hitter's approach in this situation, I have thought that way since I was a kid and watching players try to go deep in a situation which only calls for a single or in some cases just a fly-out. Real quality hitters comport themselves in this manner in any era. To carry this further how many quality hitters are around now as compared to times past?

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:29 PM

Not much bugs me more than not being able to get a runner in from 3rd base with less than two outs. (one thing that might is when people whine about the guy that came up with two outs and that same runner on third base not coming through when he would actually have to get a hit)

When the other team is giving you the run, take it!! If the infield is playing back, there is almost no excuse for not scoring that run. It's something that Twins teams the last couple of years have not done. A sacrifice fly works as well.

Yes, hits are better than outs, and productive outs (I think) are overrated, but getting the runs in that are easy to get in should just happen.

#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:35 PM

Sounds like a great guy. Unfortunately his plate discipline problems make him one of the more overrated prospects in the system.


Overrated in what sense? I doubt he'd be considered a top 10 pospect right now. In most systems, he is one.

#15 Beezer

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:55 PM

I agree with you Seth that the last couple years have been difficult to watch frequently because of the Twins inability to get those 3rd base runners across the plate. One former Twin who I always thought excelled in that area was Gary Gaetti. It seemed like he always had track power to get that sacrifice fly and get the run home. I don't know what his success race was or if that stat was even tracked but just from watching the games I always thought he was one of the best ever at it as a Twin. Hope Walker can continue to improve and make progress up the ladder. Making better contact is probably the area most likely to be his greatest impediment.

#16 lightfoot789

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

Sounds like a great guy. Unfortunately his plate discipline problems make him one of the more overrated prospects in the system.


Great article Seth. Everyone knows I'm sold. Overrated how? Are we talking future "possible" issues that may affect production numbers down the line or current issues that still leave him 1st in production in the FSL. All I'm saying is that for a kid with such a poor OBP he still scores more than anyone on his team not named Polanco. He led his team in scoring last year and was second in the league in scoring - Meaning he must have gotten on base enough to be effective.

The real question as this story outlines is: How effective could this kid become (scary numbers) if he did improve his plate discipline? He's already putting up league leadingnumbers (consistently & yearly) with the poor OBP. His teams have made the playoffs every year (Appy Championship 2012 / Best Record in all of Minors in 2013 (post Buxton) / 1st Half Playoff Qualifier in FSL 2014).

I believe in the Potential with Seth. Keep in mind: If Walker were to ever get promoted to AA this summer - He would be the 2nd youngest player on the team next to Berrios! That's the reason for patience as it pertains to his potential (not promotions). The kid is still young people.

#17 drivlikejehu

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:51 PM

Great article Seth. Everyone knows I'm sold. Overrated how?


Overrated in that he has severe flaws in his approach/swing that make is highly unlikely he ever plays in the Majors.

If, at age 22, a player can't make consistent contact against FSL pitching, he's a huge, huge longshot to pan out at all. I'm not familiar with a single example.

He's still an OK prospect because of the raw power. There's a tiny chance something clicks and he turns into a solid MLB corner outfielder. But that's not the profile of a top prospect.

#18 Lakeside

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:31 PM

Overrated in that he has severe flaws in his approach/swing that make is highly unlikely he ever plays in the Majors.

If, at age 22, a player can't make consistent contact against FSL pitching, he's a huge, huge longshot to pan out at all. I'm not familiar with a single example.

He's still an OK prospect because of the raw power. There's a tiny chance something clicks and he turns into a solid MLB corner outfielder. But that's not the profile of a top prospect.


I believe in the "Potential" of Walker. He has a strikeout pct of 27% in an A league. . . that's pretty high. I also believe like one poster said, "He has the ability to crush mistakes". . . That's a real positive. He certainly is one to continue watching and give every chance. . True HR hitters are hard to find and can change the game in an instant.

My question, in changing the topic just a little, who has a better chance of being a regular MLB player. . Walker or Max Kepler?? I've never seen Walker in person but have seen Kepler. . . he has the swing to be a big HR hitter at some point. . Also, I think he could be placed at 1B or the OF. . .and he is over a year younger than Walker.

#19 spycake

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:38 PM

I'd be curious what his splits are from when he was below the mendozaa line till now. His overall stats don't say much, but he got off to a terrible start and now has respectable numbers... in a pitchers league I might add.


B-Ref doesn't have cumulative stats for each game in their minor league game logs, but you can see splits and sum any selection of rows here:
http://www.baseball-...e=bgl&year=2014

Best I can tell, he was last below .200 on April 25. Since then, he's got an OPS of .762, compared to his overall season OPS of .723. Although it's not all straight upward either: his June OPS was actually just as bad as his pre-Mendoza OPS, right around .600, with equally bad K/BB rates too.

His league OPS is only .686, compared to AL OPS of .716 this season. Assuming a neutral ballpark in his league, he'd have a SLG-heavy OPS+ of 105, or 111 post-Medoza.

#20 lightfoot789

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

My question, in changing the topic just a little, who has a better chance of being a regular MLB player. . Walker or Max Kepler?? I've never seen Walker in person but have seen Kepler. . . he has the swing to be a big HR hitter at some point. . Also, I think he could be placed at 1B or the OF. . .and he is over a year younger than Walker.


Note: Walker was a 2nd team All American at 1B in college behind CJ Cron (plays with CA Angels now). Rated the 2nd best defensive 1B by Baseball America in 2011 (all while hitting .409).

To the age question - Who is older Trout or Harper? People want results! As long as your not old - what true difference does it make to your team if one prospect is 1 year younger or older? I repeat - Walker would be the second youngest player on Twins AA team if he were promoted. If I'm not mistaken, he was the second youngest overall college player drafted in 2012 (4 year schools).

Don't get me wrong - I looove Kepler - but believe in Walker's potential more. MWL and FSL managers must think enough of Walker to nominate him as an All Star starter each of the last 2 years as well, despite low BA and OBP.