Looking at his SO numbers, his lack of walks, his age and his level leads me to think that he probably is going to really struggle as he faces better competition.
I expect him to stay out of the top 15 prospect lists next year because I think his ceiling is Michael Restovich
He turns 22 in October and his K/rate is not *that* bad. And why worry so much about k/rate around here? TD peeps seem to focus more on how terrible the k/rates are for Twins sluggers in the system more than they do about the poor k/rates the pitchers have!
And he improved both his walks and his strikeouts since advancing a level this year.
I liked your idea of a Restovich comp, so I went and looked up his minor league stats...
Originally Posted by clutterheart
Did you remember that he was a very highly regarded prospect? One of my favorite BA quotes was that Resto had '... light-tower power'! Look at these rankings:
Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
Pre-1999: Rated #50 Prospect
Pre-2000: Rated #26 Prospect
Pre-2002: Rated #63 Prospect
Pre-2003: Rated #37 Prospect
As for comparison to Walker, it turns out not to be very good. Resto had very good walk rates in the low minors, and his SO rate didn't creep over 25% until AAA. In the end, Michael Restovich didn't become a big league regular, but I hope Adam Brett Walker can match his pedigree as a prospect.
Just something to bear in mind with regard to Walker's numbers:
Back when Buxton was off to his hot start, some in the Twins organization cautioned that you need to wait to see how a hitter does against opponents after they've seen him a few times. Their pitchers will adjust and the scouts wanted to see what adjustments Buxton would make when that happened.
The reason I mention this is that, of Walker's 22 home runs, 14 of them have come in the 24 games the Kernels played against teams in the MWL Eastern Division... teams the Kernels only face for one 3-game series each during the season. Only 8 of Walker's HRs have come during the 75 games against Western Division opponents that the Kernels face frequently.
I'm not suggesting Walker's power is any kind of fluke. He's a legit talent. But this may be a factor in why he's still in Cedar Rapids.
I would agree with that view point if I thought that the Eastern Division scouting departments weren't aware of the Kernel players. There were Eastern Division teams that put on shifts for Dalton Hicks which indicates they had a legitimate scouting report as to how to pitch our players. Peoria put a shift on for Gonzo tonight and this was his first game against them. Scouting reports are important, but Pitchers have to still hit there spots (1st time around or second time around).
ABW's HRs against the Eastern Division in 2nd Half:
Guillion #19 prospect in (Reds) System
Travieso #5 prospect in (Reds) System
Sisco #17 prospect in (Clevelands) System
Ross (1st Rounder) #15 prospect in (Padres) System
Weikel (Supplemental Rd) #11 prospect
*He also hit a HR against All Star and former Kernel Ryan Crowley (current Bees) for the 2nd time this year (2nd Half)
*He also broke up Jeff Ames 23 scoreless inning streak with a Double
He has done well against the better pitchers on opposing teams. That's what's important to me. 6 of those 12 - 2nd Half HRs have come against opposing teams Top Pitching Prospects as well. Just saying............................
Given time, you can find fault with anyone's raw numbers. The simple truth is Walker has destroyed the pitching in that league. It's not just about homers. He also has 22 doubles and 5 triples, for a total of 203 total bases in fewer than 400 PAs.
My point wasn't to suggest Walker's numbers are purely due to facing pitchers only 1 time, but merely to point out that, given a criteria Twins officials have stated they consider a factor in regard to promotions, it could be part of the reason he's still in CR. (Though lack of an opening in the FtM OF is certainly a greater factor.)
I'm not going back to see how all of those Eastern Div prospects are actually performing, but pre-season prospect status obviously does not mean the guy has been unhittable this season (as demonstrated by a couple of Kernels' pitching prospects).
Any pitcher who thinks he can get a fastball past Walker on the inside part of the plate is eventually going to find out he's very wrong. One thing we've seen this season is that the more times a pitcher faces Walker, the more breaking balls the guy tends to throw him.
Ed Thoma (Baseball Outsider) blogged about Adam Walker after reading more about him, including some scouting reports, in the most recent Baseball America:
Baseball Outsider: On Adam Brett Walker
Baseball America just did a write up on Adam Walker.
Adam Brett Walker's Potential Divides Scouts - BaseballAmerica.com
I'm not a subscriber, but would someone with a subscription please paraphrase a brief summary and include some choice snippets from the article. I'm not asking for a copy/paste, I'm just curious to know what the gist of the article is. How strongly do some scouts feel about his potential, versus the doubters?
Edit: Just read the above article by Ed Thoma, linked by Seth. The article takes some of the shine off of Walker, but he still seems like an interesting prospect. If scouts had thought more highly of his hit tool, he wouldn't have been available in the 3rd round. Hopefully he continues to develops and can becomes at least a league average hitter. Even a below average hitter, with his power is still a useful major league player.
I agree. He didn't go to a big time college, he was only a 3rd pick, who I believe the Twins brought in for a closer look just prior to the draft. My guess is they view him as a high risk/high reward prospect. I believe they will take him step by step thru the organization at whatever pace they feel is best for him. The reward maybe an OF/1B/DH able to provide 15-20 HR's off the bench.
Originally Posted by Larsbars08
Well ABW committed his first error today; if only he had better hands..... ;)
I believe some scouts are just "Haters" (as my daughter would say) because they need to justify why they passed on the kid in the 2012 draft. The more they continue to look for flaws, the less likely they will have to explain why they passed on him.
Does he have useable Power? Led both leagues in HRs in each of his 2 years in pro ball.
Why not just say yes and move on.......................
Can he make enough contact to utilize that useable Power? Leads league in:
HRs / RBIs / Total Bases / Slug % / 2nd in Runs Scored / 4th in OPS /
All you can do as a prospect is work at your game and try to dominate at each level. From the above stat line - He has done that!!! Now he has to take the next step in 2014 and do the same. Stop looking for flaws and finally give this kid his due respect for making some appropriate adjustments to his game. His K rate is no where near what he did in the Cape. But we still mention it. His defense has been excellent yet all we here is, he will eventually have to move.
The nice part is: As a college and high school prospect your fate is often in the hands of these scouts. As a professional - Walker already has a home (The MN Twins) and the only people he has to prove anything to, is them. I would think they have to be pleased - especially as they listen to the fans scream "Cedar Rapids Kernels Let the Good Times Roll" -- Keep doing your thing Walker. Baseball America had him ranked 31st in the Twins system this spring. People and Writers look for flaws (human nature) and they will always find some. Thats baseball and defintely Baseball America. Keep doing your thing and prove these "Haters" wrong.
Remember, lightfoot, that the sole purpose for a scout is to project how a prospect will do in the MAJOR LEAGUES. If the bat speed is not yet evident, he can't tell his superiors that he 'thinks' it will come because, unlike physical attributes, bat speed is not projectable. However, I am sure there are hitters in the majors with similar bat speeds... and even some with big time power. I would imagine that their path to the majors required them to develop plus to plus-plus pitch recognition and location skills. Once Walker starts demonstrating his mastery of these skills, scouts will then be able to offer some projection. High-A will definitely be an important litmus test next year.