|Adam Brett Walker at the plate.|
But it's pretty clear this late in the minor league season that the 2012 third-round pick isn't going to move up a level this year. His two outfield mates in the first half of the Midwest League season, Byron Buxton and J.D. Williams, are in Fort Myers now; Walker is still in Iowa.
The issue of Baseball America that arrived in my mailbox this week contains a lengthy piece by J.J. Cooper on Walker and his conflicted status with scouts. (I don't think it's online yet, and when it is, it may be behind their paywall.)
Boiled down: Big time power, dubious hit tool.
The story quotes a pro scout for an American League team:
Walker is a great mistake hitter. ... For me, he's still a slow-twitch guy. The jump to the Florida State League is where it comes out ... I don't know if he can catch up to good fastballs. He can hit the cripples, no doubt. He hits them a long ways.
The story also tells of a massive slump Walker had in 2011 while playing in the heavily scouted Cape Cod League: 45 at-bats in which he hit .089/.180/.156 with 23 strikeouts. That month left many scouts soured on the idea that he'd make contact often enough to let his power play.
Power is the most important tool in the box for an outfielder, and Walker has that. A walk-strikeout ratio of 27 walks, 109 strikeouts underlines the question about his ability to put the barrel on the ball consistently enough.
At best, he's on a slower track than Buxton or Miguel Sano.