Has Christian Walker captured lighting in a bottle?


Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, Christian Walker changed from a ball player with a lot of potential to be good into a player who is—without a shadow of a doubt—good. Between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, Walker batted .288/.357/.489 with 25 doubles, 26 home runs, and 96 RBIs.

The outstanding performance in the minor leagues earned Walker a spot on the Baltimore Orioles’ active roster in late September. In six games played with the Orioles, Baltimore’s No. 4 prospect recorded three hits, including his first career home run to deep center field. This homer put Walker on the map of the baseball world. Currently Walker is still on Baltimore’s 40-man roster.

The question is: Will Walker be able to maintain his ability to hit the long ball in the major leagues?

In his two seasons prior to the 2014 season, Walker only hit 13 total home runs. It is clear to see that Walker found his power stroke last season. What he needs to do this spring is prove to manager Buck Showalter that he has captured lightning in a bottle and will be able to replicate that swing night in and night out.

Walker is not outstanding defensively. While he does play a fairly good first base, Walker lacks that “versatility” that many of his fellow Orioles teammates possess. This is no big surprise to anyone in the Orioles organization.

What will keep him on the 40-man roster by Opening Day in Camden Yards will be his power swing and his ability to hit the ball in the gaps. Keep your eye on No. 18 this spring down in Sarasota, Florida.