51.2 F
Pittsburgh
Monday, December 5, 2022

Prospect Watching: Neil Walker and Brian Myrow

Walker returned to the Indy lineup after the All-Star Break, and struggled even more for the next two weeks. �Three hits on July 30th brought his average for July up to .190. �But those three hits got Walker going. �He had 3 more hits in each of his next two games, and went 14-for-30 in a 7-game hitting streak. �Walker continued on fire for the rest of the month, hitting .339 with 4 more home runs and 29 RBI. �That gave him a .264 average for the season, with 31 doubles, 14 homers, and 69 RBI. �He was named the Indians’ Player of the Month for August, and the season’s home run and RBI leader. �Never the tightest on plate discipline, Walker did manage a little higher walk rate in 2009 (26), and a little lower strikeout rate (60). �A switch-hitter, Walker hit about 50 points higher from the left side of the plate, despite being a natural right-hander. �Most of his homers and RBI came from the left.

Walker was promoted to Pittsburgh and made his major league debut on September 1st. �Over the rest of the season, he appeared in 17 games for the Pirates, and went 7-for-36 (.194) at the plate, while faring ok on defense.

Walker played winter ball with Los Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League. �He played in 34 games over about 6 weeks, starting off hot, then cooling down, then again heating up towards the end of his time in Venezuela. �He finished with a �.259 average, 9 doubles, 4 homers, and 16 RBI. �He also worked 17 walks, but struck out 24 times. �In spring training, Walker appeared in 11 games for the Pirates, mostly as a later-inning replacement. �He did well at the plate, going 5-for-15 with a homer and 2 RBI. �While his defense is ok, Walker’s bat is not major-league-ready. �He was optioned to AAA Indianapolis on March 23rd. �The problem for Walker is that Pedro Alvarez is also going to be in Indianapolis, and is going to be the heir-apparent at third base for the Pirates. �The current Pirates’ third baseman, Andy LaRoche, has already had to consider where on the diamond he’s going to have to move when Alvarez is ready. �So, where is Walker going to go? �He played his first game in the outfield a few days before being optioned down, and the Pirates have indicated that they want him to play outfield, second base, and maybe even first base while in Indianapolis. �What about a move back behind the plate? �That doesn’t seem likely at this point, since the Pirates are already well-stocked there too. �And, unless Walker starts hitting and hitting consistently, it isn’t going to matter where on the field he can play, because the Pirates won’t bother looking for a place to put him. �There is also a chance that, if the Pirates find they need to free up a spot on the 40-man roster in the week before the season begins, the 24-year-old Walker might be the unlucky one who gets DFA’ed and put on waivers.

img_1886Brian Myrow came to the Pirates’ organization in June 2009 from the White Sox’ AAA Charlotte affiliate. �The 33-year-old begtan his career in 1999 in Independent League ball, then was signed by the Yankees in 2001. �He spent time in the Yankee’s, Dodgers’, Red Sox’, Padres’, and White Sox’ organizations. �In 2005, he played in 19 major league games with the Dodgers, and he played in 33 games for the Padres over 2007-08. �For the past three seasons at the AAA level, Myrow hit very well and was at the top of the Pacific Coast League in OBP. �In 2007 with Portland, he hit .354 (.440 OBP) in 107 games with 13 homers and 73 RBI. �In 2008, again with Portland, he hit .314 (.451 OBP), with 12 home runs and 59 RBI. �Myrow began the 2009 season in Charlotte and hit .277 in 48 games, with 7 homers and 25 RBI. �After coming over to the Indians, he got back onto his usual AAA track: �he hit .320 in July, and .349 in August/September. �That gave him a .330 average (.448 OBP) for his time in Indy, and a .307 average for the season, as well as an International League-leading .417 OBP. �Myrow signed a minor league free-agent contract with the Pirates for 2010, and reported to major league camp as a non-roster invitee. �He appeared in 5 Grapefruit League games with the Pirates, but went 0-for-5 at the plate. �He was reassigned to minor league camp on May 23rd and is slated to return to the Indians. �He can play both first and third base, though he’s mainly been at first in recent years. �Third base is going to be crowded in Indianapolis. �If Steve Pearce is optioned to Indianapolis, that will cut into Myrow’s time on the field, but Myrow would also be a valuable designated hitter.

+ posts

SUPPORT PIRATES PROSPECTS

Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

PIRATES PROSPECTS WEEKLY

Latest comments