His last three seasons showed flashes of greatness.
After the 2020 season, this AZ Snake Pit player review expounded on his four awesome characteristics. His 2019 Gold Glove nomination was noted and the author looked forward to Walker’s next Gold Glove nomination. The four characteristics were:
- Fierce and tough.
- Prepared and confident.
- Aware of differences between success and failure.
- Full bag of skills.
After the 2021 season, this AZ Snake Pit player review pounded on his decline in batting power. His defense, while not earning another nomination, was better than Pavin Smith. Defense and his lack of options were all that saved him from being demoted to AAA.
April shows the All-Star game is within his reach.
Defense through 24 April. Lets look at a few metrics
- This season, Walker’s 4 DRS at first base ranked first in the Majors. UPDATE through 1 May: His 4 DRS did not increase. His 4 DRS at first base ranked ninth in the Majors.
- This season his 2 OAA is on pace to exceed the 16 he earned in 2019, his Gold Glove nomination season. UPDATE through 1 May: His 3 OAA continued at his superior pace.
- His 4.0 Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 innings (UZR/150) is better than the 2.6 he earned in 2019, his Gold Glove season. UPDATE through 1 May: His 2.9 UZR/150 continued to be better than 2019.
- With his 1 error in 120 opportunities, he is on-track for a Gold Glove nomination performance. UPDATE through 1 May: Walker improved to 1 error in 160 opportunities.
Offense through 24 April. Let’s look at a few metrics.
- Walker and Varsho tied for the most Diamondback homers (4). UPDATE through 2 May: Walker’s 5 homers are most.
- With 7 RBIs, Walker ranked third (with Beer and Varsho at 8). UPDATE through 2 May: Walker’s 8 RBIs are tied for third through fifth. Varsho has 10 RBIs. Peralta has 9 RBIs.
- With .426 SLG, Walker ranked fifth. UPDATE through 1 May: Walker’s .380 SLG ranked fifth.
Lets compare this season’s power hitting with the first basemen chosen for last season’s All-Star game.
Christian Walker had 4 homers in 62 PA. Average of AL & NL All-Star starting first basemen was 4 in 66.5 PAs. Average of AL & NL reserve All-Star first basemen was 2 homers in 69.5 PAs. (Games 1 April 2022 though 24 April 2022)
Christian Walker had 7 RBIs in 62 PAs. Average of AL and NL All-Star starting first basemen was 10.5 RBIs in 66.5 PAs. Average of AL & NL reserve All-Star first basemen was 7 RBIs in 69.5 PAs. (Games 1 April 2022 though 24 April 2022)
Christian Walker’s SLG was .426. Average of AL & NL All-Star starting first basemen was .587 SLG. Average of AL & NL reserve All-Star first basemen was .440 SLG. (Games 1 April 2022 though 24 April 2022).
This season’s offensive performance of last season’s All Star first basemen is comparable to Christian Walker’s offensive performance. Nevertheless, I’d feel more confident of Christian Walker’s All-Star status if he improved his power hitting.
“Christian Walker got the scoring under way in the 2nd, hooking a line drive into the Diamondbacks bullpen. The ball left the bat at a healthy 110 MPH with just a 22 degree launch angle. Walker had a very very good spring and looks dialed in at the plate.” — Jack Sommers of AZ Snake Pit
This season, the Diamondbacks are great at getting on base but not so great at hitting RBIs. Because of that context Walker’s home run power and RBIs are essential to winning baseball for the Diamondbacks.
Christian Walker is on pace to be nominated for a Gold Glove this season. That will contribute to becoming an All-Star.
Christian Walker is batting very well this season. His offensive performance is comparable to last season’s All-Stars. Nevertheless, Christian Walker needs to improve his power batting if he wants to be confident of playing in the All-Star game this season.
“He’s got a very good approach and the eye of the tiger.” — Torey Lovullo