The move to the outfield could pay off in the long run, as left field remains a position of weakness for the
Christian Walker has played exclusively in left field at Triple-A Norfolk so far this season, which could help his chances of contributing in the majors in 2016.
He is slashing .296/.342/.549 with four home runs in 76 plate appearances, and his .254 ISO represents a career best in the minors. The odds are certainly better that he unseats Joey Rickard in left field than Chris Davis at first base, so this boosts the probability of him being useful in fantasy leagues this season. He could also see time at DH if he was recalled, and at 25 years old, Walker has very little left to prove in the minors.
Christian Walker was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid Atlantic reports.
Manager Buck Showalter was complimentary of Walker's spring training performance, but the roster needed to be trimmed down with Opening Day approaching. Walker belted four home runs and drove in 14 runs in his 42 spring training at-bats before being sent down. Dubroff reports that Walker will be the every day left fielder at Norfolk. That said, the Baltimore Orioles will be trying to get by with an inexperienced Hyun-soo Kim and an injury prone Nolan Reimold in left this season, so Walker could be a prime candidate for a call-up if either of those players struggle or get injured.
Despite a strong spring,
The move to left field was necessary after the
Christian Walker played in left field during Tuesday's Grapefruit league game and went 1-for-3 with a double.
The outfield is new to Walker, who is a first baseman with very little minor league experience at third base. Things went well Tuesday, as Walker picked up an outfield assist by gunning down Troy Tulowitzki at third base. With plenty of depth at the MLB level at first base, Walker might be able to find a new avenue to make the team by converting to the outfield. It was not thought to be likely that Walker would break camp with the Baltimore Orioles , but Hyun-soo Kim has struggled this spring and the team appears to be opening iself up to other options.
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