Who is he?
A 5th round pick out of small Gardner-Webb University, Jeremy Walker was mostly deployed as a starting pitcher during his first 3 years with the Braves organization. He was also, to put it mildly, largely forgettable as he gave up tons of hits, rarely struck too many guys out, and fielded like his hair was on fire (seriously, the man posted sub-800 fielding percentages in consecutive years). Of course, as with most prospects, there were also some nice parts to his game — he had ungodly good ground-ball rates at every stop in the minors and rarely walked anybody. As a rangy right-hander with decent deception in his delivery, a move to the bullpen seemed fated coming into 2019.
What does he do?
Fangraphs lists his pitches as Fastball 55/55 Slider 45/50 Curve 45/50 Change 40/45 Command 45/45. Out of the pen, all of his pitches played up big time and he exhibited 60/65 command.
How did 2019 go?
Everything clicked this year. Walker started the year as an afterthought in the Mississippi bullpen and quickly worked his way into more important innings (he was paired with Ian Anderson for much of the season). After dominating Mississippi he got moved up to AAA where he got a little bit better. He was added to the 40 man and got a September call up to end the year. In Atlanta he had the usual new-guy jitters but still put up a 1.93 era/3.21 fip in 6 appearances.
One of Walkerâ€™s issues with starting was that his change sucked rocks. He has largely abandoned it as a reliever and in his MLB appearances he essentially went with just the fastball and the curve.
What does the future hold?
I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see him back in AAA to start the year as he only got 22 innings at that level last season. ZIPS sees him as a mid-3â€™s ERA type guy going forward so it also would be no great shock if he had a wonderful spring and put up great numbers from the get-go. Long term he looks a lot like Shane Greene which would be a wonderful result from the 139th pick in the draft.
Thank you, Karl. I have high hopes for Jeremy Walker. Y’all know about hope.
Iâ€™m loving Karlshineâ€™s write ups. Great stuff.
Iâ€™m excited about Jeremy Walker. AA has no intentions of going into the season with a patchwork bullpen, but I think heâ€™s a better option to be in our pen than Jonny Venters, Wes Parsons, and Josh Tomlin were to start the 2019 season.
@2 As we run through prospects and they get weeded out, each year should be better than the one before and the ones that stick should be at least decent major leaguers. I hope that is where the Walkers, Pfeifers, Burrows’, Weigels, etc… come in. I’m all for it. These are the guys that will replace the older, more expensive bullpenners over the next couple of years.
Back in the 90s, it took a while for the Pena’s and Berenguers to turn into Stantons and Wohlers’. Guys like Melancon are the reincarnation of Berenguer. Hopefully, Walker can be found gold.
Did anyone see Maffei’s comments as being just short of last year’s Phillies “stupid money” comments? My brain went directly there when I read it.
@4 I agree, weâ€™re looking at spending â€œslightly less than smart moneyâ€
@4 I took those comments as meaning payroll probably starts about where it ended. If they flip Ender, it could get interesting. Being that they checked in on Ozuna, I believe that idea is on the radar too; unless the plan is to make Nick and Duvall bench players.
Hey all, 3 Flags Flying will be recording our podcast tomorrow night and partaking in our first mailbag segment! Comment here with any Braves questions youâ€™d like discussed and we will be sure to get to them on the podcast!
Here’s a question: How can the Braves fill their wishlist if we have the same opening day payroll as last season? Difficulty level: No trades of the top 5 prospects
Bulldog! Bulldog! Bow wow wow! Eli Yale!
@7: do you publish a transcript of your podcast? I read better than I listen.
Are any of the prospects that were taken away by the sanctions due to Coppy looking good?
I know Maitan isnt, (at the moment) but I frankly havent kept up with the others.
You reminded me of an absolutely beautiful documentary I saw, â€œHarvard Beats Yale 29-29â€ was the title, I believe. If you havenâ€™t seen it… although Iâ€™ll bet you haveâ€”well worth watching.
Question for the podcast: Do you believe the Braves have a real interest in Marcell Ozuna, or are the rumors they checked in just due diligence? How would signing him alter the OF going forward?
Thanks for the questions, you all! New thread, Jerry Blevins style.