Jun 28, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pinch hitter Neil Walker (18) hits a double against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Braves won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off of a career year in 2014, expectations were high for Neil Walker. The weight of those expectations made Walker’s April look worse than it actually was. Walker slashed .288/.333/.425 during the early days of the season but only came out with a lone HR and nine RBI to show for it. Walker scuffled around in May and June before catching fire lately in July. As he stands today, Walker will have to go on quite the tear to replicate his 2014 numbers, causing many Pirates fans to have a rather lukewarm feeling towards ‘The Pittsburgh Kid.’ While overall batting very similar to his ’14 numbers, the lack of HR (6) and RBI (32) are nothing to get excited about.
Contentious contract talks swirling about Walker are nothing new, but with a down year, fans are left wondering if Walker – with injury history – should still be extended. Perhaps Walker will return from the all-star break with a refreshed outlook to the rest of the 2015 season.
There you have it. These are our Top Five statistical storylines of the first half of the 2015 season. Got one we overlooked? Let us know in the comments or twitter.