After a decorated college career, Walker signed with the White Sox for an over-slot $2M bonus in the 2018’s second round. After a few games (split between the AZL and Pioneer League) in Rookie ball to get his feet wet, Chicago challenged Walker with an assignment to Class A Kannapolis to finish the year. His first 20 South Atlantic League games have exposed parts of his swing and approach that need refinement, but Walker’s well-rounded toolset showed through across a recent four-game look.
A muscular and athletic 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, Walker’s frame has a big league look with strength and speed. He whips the bathead through the zone with a powerful uppercut path, taking a big hack that’s looking to do damage. There’s at least average raw power, if not a tick above, and it plays more to the pullside in games. Walker puts impressive swings on the ball when he barrels one up, but pro pitching at the full-season level has exploited some of his present over-aggression. He looked like a fastball hitter who didn’t anticipate or identify off-speed very well, often chasing soft stuff out of the zone. The swing-plane is geared for lift but trades some contact to get to that power, showing length to the ball that gave him issue covering the inner-third of the plate. Currently a centerfielder, Walker projects as an average defensive outfielder who is playable at all three spots without being plus. His first step and closing speed are a bit short to play center in the big leagues, but Walker’s efficient routes get the most out of average straight-line wheels. His solid-average arm plays fine at any outfield spot.
In the best-case scenario, Walker tightens up his approach and swing length and gets to 50-grade hit and power outputs while being able to stick in center. He’s an average everyday regular at best, though there’s some risk to reaching that ceiling. Walker doesn’t have one dominant tool to carry the profile and might wind up a tweener at the big league level. The realistic future profile is a high-floor role player, fourth outfielder, or potential platoon starter.