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Jun 06, 2013 - Jun 08, 2013   
  

TBD - ,
Adam Walker
3B C 6-4 200   R/R

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2/27/12: At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Walker is one of the most-imposing physical specimens in this year’s draft class. He combines serious raw power with impressive speed and athleticism for a player his size, and was the Atlantic Sun Conference player of the year as a sophomore, leading the league in batting (.409), hits (99) and doubles (23), while setting school records for hits and total bases (165). For all of his obvious credentials, though, scouts have had a difficult time coming to grips with Walker as a prospect. He went undrafted three years ago out of a Wisconsin high school as an untapped talent with impressive three-sport credentials and intriguing bloodlines (his father is a former NFL running back, and mother a national high-jumping champion), and scouts continue to be reluctant to commit to Walker as a sure-fire first-rounder in June—particularly after he struggled at the plate last summer in the Cape Cod League. Despite coming off his impressive 2011 college season, Walker appeared to meet his match against the superior pitching he faced on the Cape. Walker’s raw power potential was unmistakable, but he hit just .216-4-17 and struck out 56 times in 134 at-bats, while also drawing just eight walks. He proved particularly vulnerable against quality breaking balls away and even high-velocity fastballs up in the zone. No matter how well Walker ultimately performs as a junior for Jacksonville, the lasting impression some scouts may have of him will be his disappointing performance on the Cape. But Walker has proven scouts wrong before, and they must be mindful not to make the same mistake on him in June that was made on Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, the major leaguer most frequently compared to Walker. Howard was a projected first-rounder entering his draft year at Missouri State, only to slip to the fifth round after a disappointing junior season. Ultimately, Walker’s performance at the plate this spring will determine his worth in the draft. He has tape-measure power to all fields, but must demonstrate that it’s useable power on a consistent basis. More than anything, he’ll need to show better plate discipline while continuing to work on shortening his long swing. He is prone to taking hittable pitches and swinging at offerings out of the strike zone. While hitting a team-high .409 a year ago, Walker also topped the Dolphins in homers (13), RBIs (75) and slugging (.655). As a freshman, he hit .313 and also led the team in homers (16) and RBIs (58). Along with improving his batting average nearly 100 points from his freshman to sophomore year, he also modestly curbed his strikeout total from 74 to 63. Walker’s greatest breakthrough at the plate over the last two or three years came in the summer following his freshman year at JU, when he took the Great Lakes League by storm, hitting .344 and leading that league in homers and RBIs, while being selected the league’s top pro prospect. Despite his slip-up on the Cape in his second go-around in summer ball, Walker has done nothing but improve on all aspects of his game since high school, where he was primarily a catcher but also pitched, played both infield corners and the outfield. He runs well enough to play on an outfield corner at the college level, but Walker’s lack of arm strength and suspect throwing motion will undoubtedly limit him to first base at the pro level. He made that transition a year ago, with generally positive reviews. If nothing else, he offers a big target at the gateway position but is fairly nimble with his footwork around the bag. He has been clocked in the 60 as low as 6.65 seconds, though generally is around 6.8 (major-league average). Should Walker land in the first round in June, he would become Jacksonville’s initial first-round draft pick. Former big-league shortstop Tommy McMillan, a second-rounder in 1973 (Indians, 29th overall), is the school’s highest draft pick on record, narrowly edging out righthander Mike Christ, a second-rounder (30th overall) of the Mariners in 1984. The Dolphins haven’t had a player selected in the first 10 rounds since 1999, however, and not only is Walker a lock to reverse that trend, but so is another Wisconsin-developed prospect on the roster, junior outfielder Dan Gulbransen, who hit .370-6-52 a year ago and projects as a fifth- to eighth-rounder. Both players were discovered by JU associate head coach Tim Montez on the same 2008 recruiting trip to the Upper Midwest—Walker at an obscure showcase event in Kenosha, Wis. Not only were Walker and Gulbransen lightly recruited and scouted out of Wisconsin high schools, they essentially remain joined at the hip as they made their official recruiting visits to Jacksonville together, have been teammates in summer ball the last two years and continue to hit 3-4 in the Dolphins batting order. In hindsight, it’s curious how a player with Walker’s first-round credentials could be so overlooked by scouts and recruiters coming out of high school, particularly with the success that he and Gulbransen have displayed in their college careers. Understandably, Jacksonville has only intensified its curious, but highly-productive recruiting efforts in Wisconsin since landing the pair with the team’s two top-ranked freshmen also hailing from that state. But it may be only a matter of time before everyone else catches onto the underappreciated talent coming from Wisconsin, and the point will be driven home if Walker lands in the first round in June.




Sep 06, 2008 - Sep 07, 2008   Perfect Game USA
  14

Wrigley Field - Chicago, IL
Adam Walker
3B C 6-4 200   R/R

FB
60
40
OF
IF
1B
C
Pop
Range
CB
SL
CH
Split
Knuckle
Exit Velo
Distance