Pittsburgh Pirates Countdown: Top Five Second Basemen
By David Hill
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
5. Neil Walker (2009-present)
Neil Walker had been on the radar for Pirates fans from the moment he was drafted. Taken with the eleventh overall pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, Walker immediately became one of the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospects, making Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list from 2005 through 2008. Walker was rated as high as 43rd overall prior to the 2006 season, and appeared as though he could be a possible All-Star player.
While Walker has yet to make an All-Star Game thus far in his career, he has still been a solid player for the Pirates overall. Thus far in his young career, Walker has put together a .273/.340/.432 batting line, hitting 77 home runs. While he has not displayed the capability of stealing double digit bases like he did in the minors, Walker has still been decent enough on the basepaths.
Last season, at age 28, Neil Walker put together the best season of his career. He produced a .271/.340/.467 batting line, good for an OPS+ of 127. His 23 home runs marked the first time that he had eclipsed the twenty home run mark in the majors. Although it was good enough to earn Walker the Silver Slugger award, last year may just be a sign of things to come, as he has entered his prime.
Neil Walker has already had a solid enough career to earn a spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates five best second basemen of all time. A few more years like last season, and he will climb that list.