Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Five Super Sleepers to Watch

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Outfielder Deion Walker

Deion Walker was a 17th round pick by the Pirates in 2019. He looked solid in his first look at pro-ball in ’19, hitting .270/.329/.459 with a .369 wOBA and 122 wRC+. He hit for his fair share of power, with 9 of his 20 hits going for extra bases.

Although he only hit .200/.340/.300 in 2021, he did show some strong plate discipline. He walked 15.5% of the time and improved the line-drive department. He upped his LD% from 16.3% to 21.3%. However, his already high ground ball rate rose to 55.3% this past season. His power also evaporated in 2021 as his ISO fell to just .100.

Despite his lack of power in 2021, Walker has been praised for his bat speed which can help generate solid pop. He’s also shown the ability to hit to all fields. As a defender, he has the tools to be a centerfielder with good reads and a strong arm.

The talent is there for Walker. However, he’s still a very raw project. Walker is only going into his age-20 season but won’t turn 20 until August 20th. There’s still plenty of time to figure things out. If he can make contact more consistently, his power will play well, and along with his good eye at the plate, he will reach base enough.