If anyone challenges Joey Gallo for the most power in this draft class, its Adam Brett Walker. Some scouts give this guy an 80 for a future power grade. That's reserved for only the most powerful beasts in baseball. But, that's what you're going to get with Walker. His dad was an NFL running back, so he's grown up as an athlete and around professional sports. He has power in his heritage, and he brings that to his plate. It's obvious that he has it with his 6-5, 225 pound frame. Sound like Domingo Santana? Despite him being a right-handed hitter, his power and frame have caused him to be compared to Fred McGriff. Now, that's high praise.
So, why is he not included in talks for 1-1 with that kind of comparison? For starters, he's got power but has issues with consistent contact. Walker just strikes out way too much. He struggles against advanced pitching, especially with breaking balls. At this point, he just can't let the ball travel deep enough to recognize it and put a good swing on it. If he can't hit well at Jacksonville University, he probably won't hit well in professional baseball. Although, he's had some issues with a hand injury this year which could be causing him to hit worse. He has a long uppercut swing which is also more susceptible to holes that can be exploited by breaking pitches. In pro ball, he'll have some work to do to make consistent contact.
He runs well for a guy his size (double digit stolen bases) but his home is likely at 1B. He doesn't have a great arm, but has made him capable of playing LF at this point. He could possibly stay in LF in pro ball since he can run well and he needs work at 1B. He's stiff (what guy that size isn't) and doesn't have soft hands. He needs more work at 1B. I'm starting to think he could a bigger leaner version of Telvin Nash.
Like I said, he could be like Telvin Nash. Although, it's too early to really say what Telvin Nash could be. Still, his floor is a guy who just puts mistakes pitches over the outfield wall but fails to do much else. His power alone could put him up to AA just because his Lancaster numbers could be absurd.
Giancarlo Stanton! That's his ultimate ceiling. Lots of power and capable of hitting .250-.270 but you'll have to deal his fair share of strikeouts. You can take that in the clean-up spot can't you? When a guy jacks 30-40 bombs a year, you can put up with a lot.
Projected Draft Round
Jonathan Mayo has him as the 49th best prospect while Keith Law has him at 80. He's a supplemental round to 3rd or 4th round type prospect. Although, power can get you drafted much earlier than expected when draft day comes. I wouldn't be surprised at supplemental pick or early second round.
Will he sign?
I think so. He still has questions to answer about his bat and where he belongs defensively, but there's not much he'll accomplish at Jacksonville University. His development would likely be better served in pro ball. But, he's a really young junior in his age 20 season and would still be one of they youngest seniors next year if he chooses to try and build his stock next season in school. Anything before mid-2nd round and I think he's a sure bet to sign.
Bibliography after the jump
The son of a former NFL running back, Walker looks the part of a future slugger. The question is if he has the baseball skills to get there.
There’s no question about his pop at the plate. He might have as much raw power as anyone in the Draft class, with some scouts giving him an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He also has a very good approach to hitting, though his hitting instincts lag behind. That leaves some wondering if he’ll learn to tap into that power consistently enough against advanced pitching.
A big, physical specimen, Walker has played both first base and the outfield. His arm is well below average, and while some think he could handle playing left field, his defensive home is up in the air. He draws comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton, both in body type and power potential, but there is some concern that he’s a Ferrari with a VW engine.
Adam Brett Walker is one of the few, true power bats in this year's college class. Often mentioned in the same breath as Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache, Walker has raw power that approaches 70 on the scouting scale and plays both in BP and in games. He has the ideal power hitting frame and is big, strong and athletic in all aspects of his game. Despite the raw power, however, Walker is far from refined and his hit tool is well behind his power.