Christian Walker has been absolutely tearing it up in Triple-A Norfolk. Batting .310 in 12 games played as a member of the Norfolk Tides, everyone in Baltimore is pleased with the former Gamecock. In fact, his performance has him in line with joining the Orioles in late August or early September as the 2014 Playoffs rapidly approach.
The thing that both fans and scouts have not seen from Walker in Triple-A is his home run capability; that is, before the last two Tides games played out.
On Sunday, Walker “got the monkey off his back” so to speak in the top of the eighth inning when he crushed a ball over the center field wall for a solo home run to draw the Tides within six of the Columbus Clippers.
Just to prove that this home run was not by luck, Walker hit yet another solo home run in Monday night’s game. This time Walker hit one opposite field to give the Tides the 6-5 lead which would ultimately prove to be the decider.
These were Walker’s 21st and 22nd home runs of the year. The question is: Could Walker find his place as an Oriole sooner than expected?
A non-experienced Walker, no matter how talented, will not “dethrone” Chris Davis from first base especially because of the negative impact it could have on the team. However, I could see a lineup that has Walker as the designated hitter with Nelson Cruz in left field.
Obviously, if called up, Walker would be nothing more than a utility player for this 2014 season. However small of a role he might play, Walker may be the final piece to the puzzle that is the 2014 Baltimore Orioles.