Ongoing and Overzealous Coverage of Zach Walters

One way — perhaps the main way — in which a prospect is capable of producing enthusiasm among the People is by exhibiting signs that he’ll be a valuable major leaguer at some point in the near or less-near future. Another way in which he can do that (i.e. produce enthusiasm) is by demonstrating a skill set otherwise non-extant (or nearly non-extant) in the majors.

While the likelihood of Zach Walters parlaying his skills into a major-league career of consequence remains distinctly uncertain, he’s at least indicated that the aforementioned skill set is likely to be a unique one. Just hours after the present author noted here yesterday that the 24-year-old belonged to a select group of hitters this season — hitters, that is, who’re both (a) particularly inclined to striking out and hitting for power while also (b) capable of occupying the more demanding area of the defensive spectrum — Walters proceeded to demonstrate the entirety of skill set (the offensive part, at least) in three plate appearances against Minnesota (box).

Here, by way of illustration, is the conclusion of Walters’ first plate appearances on Thursday:

Walters 1

And then the second:

Walters 2

And, finally, the third:

Walters 3

In the wake of that game against the Twins, Walters now possesses a 37.2% strikeout rate and .306 isolated-power figure. Of the 43 batted balls he’s hit into fair territory, seven of them (16%) have been home runs.

Here are the top-10 players this season by that inconsequential measure who have also recorded 50-plus plate appearances. (Note that HRC% denotes home runs on contact.):

# Name Team AB AB-K HR HRC%
1 Zach Walters 72 43 7 16.3%
2 Javier Baez Cubs 70 40 5 12.5%
3 Nate Freiman Athletics 47 33 4 12.1%
4 Chris Carter Astros 395 257 30 11.7%
5 Mike Olt Cubs 187 103 12 11.7%
6 George Springer Astros 295 181 20 11.0%
7 Giancarlo Stanton Marlins 465 323 32 9.9%
8 Juan Francisco Blue Jays 275 163 16 9.8%
9 Jose Abreu White Sox 436 330 32 9.7%
10 Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 348 288 27 9.4%



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