Christian Walker

Christian Walker

31-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Arizona Diamondbacks
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Walker parlayed more patience and an increase in fly balls into a 122 wRC+, the highest mark of his career. He swung at fewer pitches in and out of the zone, fueling a career low 19.6% strikeout rate. Walker's fly ball exit velocity increased, supporting a career-high .235 ISO. Unfortunately, his BABIP was adversely affected, falling over 50 points to .248. However, a 10.3% walk rate helped mitigate the damage. There was some luck involved in Walker's uptick, but the new approach should help him maintain more power than previously displayed. Walker's 17 defensive runs saved were by far the most among qualified first basemen which should help him stay on the field in the event he incurs some regression. After dealing with oblique issues last season, Walker missed only two games. He missed only 13 in 2019-2020, so durability is a plus. Walker is in play for those waiting on a first baseman/corner infielder. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Diamondbacks in March of 2022.
Three hits during victory
1BArizona Diamondbacks
October 6, 2022
Walker went 3-for-4 with an RBI in Wednesday's 4-2 victory over the Brewers.
ANALYSIS
Walker opened the scoring in the fourth inning with an RBI single off lefty Aaron Ashby. The first baseman finished the season on a positive note, turning in a .367 average over 30 at-bats across his final seven games. The 31-year-old had a resurgent year with a .242/.327/.477 slash line, 36 home runs, 94 RBI and 84 runs in 160 contests.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 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
109
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
48
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+7%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .759 365 51 9 34 0 .248 .345 .414
Since 2020vs Right .768 985 123 44 140 3 .248 .316 .452
2022vs Left .845 159 22 7 18 0 .261 .352 .493
2022vs Right .791 508 62 29 76 2 .236 .319 .472
2021vs Left .659 142 19 0 9 0 .240 .345 .314
2021vs Right .711 303 36 10 37 0 .246 .300 .411
2020vs Left .764 64 10 2 7 0 .236 .328 .436
2020vs Right .805 174 25 5 27 1 .283 .333 .472
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+14%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .735 670 88 23 89 1 .235 .315 .420
Since 2020Away .795 685 86 30 85 2 .261 .333 .463
2022Home .749 332 40 15 42 0 .227 .319 .430
2022Away .856 335 44 21 52 2 .256 .334 .522
2021Home .685 209 25 3 22 0 .234 .316 .370
2021Away .705 236 30 7 24 0 .253 .314 .392
2020Home .777 129 23 5 25 1 .254 .302 .475
2020Away .808 114 12 2 9 0 .290 .368 .440
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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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.53
 
BB Rate
10.3%
 
K Rate
19.6%
 
BABIP
.248
 
ISO
.235
 
AVG
.242
 
OBP
.327
 
SLG
.477
 
OPS
.804
 
wOBA
.349
 
Exit Velocity
90.0 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
38.1%
 
Barrels/PA
7.9%
 
Expected BA
.257
 
Expected SLG
.484
 
Sprint Speed
22.0 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
38.3%
 
Line Drive %
17.4%
 
Fly Ball %
44.2%
 
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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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Walker's third season as a regular was a disappointment. Two first-half IL stints for a strained right oblique didn't help, but overall Walker's power skills continued a downward trend with a drop in HR/FB, average fly ball distance and average exit velocity. His K%, BB% and BABIP were all within historical range, but the decline in power yielded a .304 wOBA, the second lowest among first baseman with at least 400 PA. As a righthanded batter, it may appear Walker is headed towards the lesser side of a platoon, but he's exhibited reverse splits so there's a better chance he becomes a reserve first baseman and corner outfielder. The freshness of 2019's fun ball breakout could draw interest, unfortunately the underlying metrics indicate it's unwarranted.
After spending parts of five seasons at Triple-A (and destroying the PCL for a couple years), Walker finally got his chance at full-time at-bats in the big leagues with the Diamondbacks in 2019. He smashed 29 homers with an 11.1 BB% over 603 PA. The sequel is never as good and Walker finished with an OPS below .800 in 2020, but he quietly had 18 doubles, fourth most in MLB. His hard-hit rate held firm at close to 49%, per Statcast, ranking in the top 11% of the league, and he hit nearly 20 points better vs. RHP than he did in 2019. Walker has not hit lefties particularly well so far in the majors (.231/.337/.447), and as he enters his age-30 season, he still has work to do if he wants to stick around and stave off the "Quad-A" label. Arizona does not project to have a competitive team in 2020 and Walker should have plenty of chances to right the ship and establish himself as a legitimate, corner-worthy bat.
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.
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
Nabs rare steal
1BArizona Diamondbacks
October 2, 2022
Walker went 2-for-5 with a stolen base in Sunday's 4-3 extra-inning loss to the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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Three hits during win
1BArizona Diamondbacks
October 2, 2022
Walker went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, an RBI and two runs scored in Saturday's win over San Francisco.
ANALYSIS
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Knocks in three in win
1BArizona Diamondbacks
September 29, 2022
Walker went 1-for-4 with three RBI in Wednesday's 5-2 extra-inning win over the Astros.
ANALYSIS
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Slams 36th homer
1BArizona Diamondbacks
September 22, 2022
Walker went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Thursday's loss to the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Accounts for offense in loss
1BArizona Diamondbacks
September 16, 2022
Walker went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three total RBI in Friday's 12-3 loss to the Padres.
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