clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 14: Steele Walker

A quick call-up to Winston-Salem keeps the ebullient center fielder on track for Birmingham in 2020

Rising up: Shaking off last year’s injuries that slowed him a touch after the draft, Walker has had a stellar early 2019.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Steele Walker
190 pounds
Bats: Left
Age: 22
SSS rank among all center fielders in the system: 4

Walker improved during each of this three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners: His slash line was .290/.352/.414 in his first season, .333/.413/.541 for his second, and .352/.441/.606 to wind up his career. In his senior season, Walker also hit 14 doubles, one triple, 13 homers, and 53 RBIs, and had 31 walks (12.20) and 48 strikeouts (18.90%) over 216 at-bats. Walker was projected to be a borderline first-round pick, so when he fell to the fourth pick in the second round, the Sox happily selected him and inked him to an over-slot, $2 million signing bonus.

Sooner (pun intended) or later, you knew with the year the White Sox had, Walker was doomed to have an injury. In his case, a strained oblique muscle caused Walker to miss some time, and may have hampered his overall results for 2018. For the season (split among the AZL Sox, Great Falls Voyagers and Kannapolis), he slashed just .209/.271/.342 in 158 at-bats, with a combined six doubles, five homers, 21 RBIs, six stolen bases, 10 walks (5.65%) and 37 strikeouts (20.90%).

Walker is considered slightly above average in all tools, with the exception of his arm, which is a bit below average. He’s an exciting player, and is quite excitable himself when giving interviews.

His struggles in 2018 ensured a return to Kannapolis to begin 2019, and Walker ate up the Sally: .365/.427/.581 in 20 games. He was promoted quickly to Winston-Salem, when in just about the same sample of games, (23), Walker is struggling to get his footing: .225/.340/.338. Take it as a positive that even when not hitting, Walker still draws walks (14 in 23 games).

Take a look!

Yeah, of course you clicked here to see footage of a game between Oklahoma and Chinese Taipei. Thanks, 2080 Baseball!

In place of the long list of Top 100 prospects with story links that usually resides here, just click the “South Side Sox Top 100” on our page, below the main stories, to access a list of every player so far profiled.

More information on South Side Top Prospects.