Christian Walker
Christian Walker
29-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Arizona Diamondbacks
2020 Fantasy Outlook
The departure of Paul Goldschmidt last offseason opened up the job at first base in Arizona, and Walker began the season in a short-side platoon role alongside Jake Lamb after spending the last few years looking like a Quad-A player. Lamb went down with an injury in early April and Walker immediately staked his claim to the starting role with a .994 OPS through the first 28 games. He did struggle at times but still posted a 112 wRC+ while starting 132 games at first base, and he shaved his strikeout rate to just 22.8% in the second half. He mashed 29 home runs and had an 11.1 BB%, which represents the best mark of his professional career. Walker is more or less a prototypical power-hitting first baseman and actually had reverse splits, hitting for a better BA and SLG against righties than lefties. He should enter spring training as the Diamondbacks' top option at first base. Read Past Outlooks
Could slot in at five-hole
1BArizona Diamondbacks
March 20, 2020
Walker batted fifth in one of the final Cactus League games before MLB was suspended, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
The lineup manager Torey Lovullo fielded Mar. 9 against the Royals looked like an Opening Day batting order. That lineup had the right-handed hitting Walker fifth behind lefty David Peralta and ahead of lefty Kole Calhoun. Lovullo may tweak the order so that he can alternate right-handed and left-handed batters, but Walker should be comfortable in the five hole. That's where he had his most plate appearances in 2019, when he took command of the first base job and swatted 29 home runs. The man he replaced at first base, Jake Lamb, had a good spring, but the job belongs to Walker right now and will be his whenever MLB opens its doors for the regular season.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
41
36
15
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
18
24
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+6%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+49%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+278%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .810 216 30 11 21 2 .237 .343 .468
Since 2017vs Right .819 455 64 23 60 7 .257 .338 .480
2019vs Left .789 174 23 6 14 1 .241 .368 .421
2019vs Right .838 429 63 23 59 7 .266 .340 .497
2018vs Left .688 32 5 3 5 1 .188 .188 .500
2018vs Right .462 21 1 0 1 0 .118 .286 .176
2017vs Left 1.511 10 2 2 2 0 .333 .400 1.111
2017vs Right .400 5 0 0 0 0 .000 .400 .000
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+4%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+66%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+56%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .831 350 51 20 48 3 .250 .337 .494
Since 2017Away .800 321 43 14 33 6 .252 .343 .457
2019Home .822 311 45 16 41 3 .254 .344 .478
2019Away .827 292 41 13 32 5 .265 .353 .475
2018Home .741 29 4 2 5 0 .214 .241 .500
2018Away .446 24 2 1 1 1 .095 .208 .238
2017Home 1.400 10 2 2 2 0 .250 .400 1.000
2017Away .900 5 0 0 0 0 .250 .400 .500
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Stat Review
How does Christian Walker compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.43
 
BB Rate
11.1%
 
K Rate
25.7%
 
BABIP
.312
 
ISO
.217
 
AVG
.259
 
OBP
.348
 
SLG
.476
 
OPS
.825
 
wOBA
.359
 
Exit Velocity
90.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
46.1%
 
Barrels/PA
7.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Christian Walker
RotoWire Roundtable: Rankings for 60-game Season
5 days ago
Four sets of individual fantasy baseball rankings are compiled into a Top 300 composite ranking for the upcoming 60-game MLB season.
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Six
22 days ago
Todd Zola breaks down roster management trends from last season's NFBC Main Event and notes that Lucas Giolito became a poster boy for exercising patience.
Rounding Third: Digging for Stolen Bases - Sprint Speed
86 days ago
Could Teoscar Hernandez be a late source in drafts for stolen bases? Jeff Erickson looks at Statcast's Sprint Speed metric to look for potential stolen base indicators.
RotoWire Roundtable: Updated Composite Rankings
110 days ago
Individual sets of fantasy baseball rankings by Jeff Erickson, Todd Zola, Clay Link and Erik Halterman are compiled into a top 300 composite ranking, with a two-week delay to the season factored in.
Rounding Third: Never-Ending Story
114 days ago
In taking stock of his drafts so far this season, Jeff Erickson has been pushing Trevor Story aggressively in the middle-to-late first rounds.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Walker is 28 years old and has managed 99 plate appearances at the big-league level over the past four seasons, owning a .163/.226/.388 line for his efforts. Meanwhile, he has amassed 2,282 plate appearances in Triple-A and has a .279/.344/.494 line there. This is the tale of a Quad-A player in that he has been able to hang around on the 40-man roster for this long, but has not yet had any opportunity to stick in the majors. Now that Paul Goldschmidt is no longer in Arizona, perhaps Walker will get a chance to show he can hit big-league pitching, though the Diamondbacks are expected to slot Jake Lamb in as the starter at first base to begin the season. Walker is out of options, so he has to make the 25-man roster or be exposed to waivers and take his Triple-A mashing to another organization.
Walker earned Pacific Coast League MVP honors in 2017, setting new career-highs in homers (32), RBI (114), steals (5), slugging percentage (.597) and OPS (.979). In previous runs at the Triple-A level, Walker's strikeout rate hovered around 25 percent, but he trimmed the number to an impressive 17.6 percent last season, while drawing walks at a career-high 10.3 percent clip. In a September callup, Walker homered twice in 15 plate appearances, but he was used primarily as a right-handed bat off the bench with expanded rosters. Although he's played regularly in left field as recently as 2016, the D-backs were deploying Walker almost exclusively at first base in Reno, a position where he's blocked by Paul Goldschmidt indefinitely in Arizona. With nothing left to prove at Triple-A, the only question is whether he'll get a chance at the big-league level in 2018. If the D-backs were to decide that Yasmany Tomas is a sunk cost, it would go a long way toward opening the door for Walker to get that chance.
With Chris Davis occupying first base for the foreseeable future and first base prospect Trey Mancini waiting in the wings, the Orioles decided to move Walker to the outfield in order to open up an easier path to the big leagues. Walker again began his season with Triple-A Norfolk, as he did in 2014 and 2015, as well. His development has seemed to level off over the past couple of seasons at Triple-A. His walk rate has decreased in each of the last two seasons and though his average and slugging percentage both ticked up in 2016, his overall wRC+ remained stagnant at 116. Walker will be 26 years old by the time Opening Day rolls around, and it's looking increasingly likely that his potential MLB impact may be limited. He is on the 40-man roster and may see the field for the Orioles this year, but his long-term fantasy outlook is bleak.
Walker showed he mastered Double-A in 2014 before stalling in 44 Triple-A games. He spent the entire 2015 season at Triple-A and produced a solid but not outstanding season, closely mirroring his Triple-A numbers from the prior season. Walker has 31 September plate appearances over the last two Septembers and it is time for the Orioles to see what they have with him. With Walker, the Orioles have an above average power hitter, but his strikeout rate has increased at the higher levels, approaching a 25% K% in Triple-A the last two seasons. Walker appears to have fallen behind Trey Mancini in the organization's prospect rankings. Mancini should make a push to Triple-A in 2016, so it may be now or never for Walker. The Orioles will need to sign Chris Davis or replace him. Walker is the top internal candidate and he could in theory compete for the starting job in spring training, but there is a strong possibility the club signs or trades for a first baseman.
The 23-year-old first baseman got his first taste of the big leagues in 2014, thanks in large part to Chris Davis getting suspended for the final two weeks of the season after testing positive for amphetamines. He started the season at Double-A Bowie, and certainly deserved a promotion after slashing .301/.367/.516 with 20 home runs in 411 plate appearances, but under normal circumstances he may not have gotten another promotion so soon after slashing .259/.335/.428 in just 44 games at Triple-A. With Davis eligible to open the season at first base, and Steve Pearce presumably assured of a spot on the Opening Day roster, Walker will likely spend most of 2015 at Triple-A attempting to build off his power outburst in 2014. There are very few first-base prospects that are as close to contributing as Walker, but if he were to be given a full-time role due to a trade or an injury to Davis or Pearce, he would profile as a second division player, at best.
Walker earned passing grades in his first full pro season, advancing from Low-A to Double-A by the end of the season. Power is Walker's most valuable tool and he showed off with 11 home runs at the lower two levels. The Orioles should be happy with his .300 average on the season, though his production dropped as he advanced. Walker should begin 2014 at Double-A, but he is probably more than a year away from being able to help the Orioles after being selected by the organization as a fourth-round pick in 2012.
More Fantasy News
Plays Wednesday
1BArizona Diamondbacks
February 27, 2020
Walker went 1-for-1 with a double and a walk in Wednesday's game against the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Starting Wednesday
1BArizona Diamondbacks
February 26, 2020
Walker (upper body) will start at first base and bat fifth in Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Expected back Wednesday
1BArizona Diamondbacks
Upper Body
February 26, 2020
Walker (soreness) is expected to play Wednesday, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Limited by soreness
1BArizona Diamondbacks
Upper Body
February 23, 2020
Walker is making a slow start to spring training due to general body soreness, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Homers twice, plates five in win
1BArizona Diamondbacks
September 28, 2019
Walker went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a solo home run in Saturday's 6-5 win over the Padres.
ANALYSIS
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