Taijuan Walker Promoted to Clinton
Perhaps you’re despondent over the fact that James Paxton was scheduled to start last night and didn’t. This should perk you right up. The Lumberkings announced a short time ago that 2010 supplemental first-round pick RHP Taijuan Walker has been promoted to Clinton from extended spring training, along with RH Jandy Sena. RHP Seon Gi Kim went back to Peoria and RHPs Tyler Blandford and Matt Bischoff went on the DL. Walker is scheduled to pitch on Thursday, but the rotation has been in flux for a while, and that information is subject to change.
Walker came into the organization as a strong arm with little polish, having spent most of his earlier years playing basketball. His pre-draft reports had him pitching 91-3 and touching the mid-90s on rare instances, offsetting it with a curve and a slider. Then over the winter, something started to happen. Reports started coming in of his curve developing into a potential plus pitch and that he was sitting in the mid-90s and touching 98. A recent game in extended had him at eight strikeouts in four innings, sitting 95-97 the whole time.
All this information is counterproductive to what I’m going to try to tell you next: remain calm. Walker is going from nice and sunny weather to the Midwest League in the spring. The weather might not be good, the velocity might be down, and yeah, he’ll probably fall behind hitters. But the information we have now would suggest that Walker is a lot closer to what we hoped he would be than he was when he was drafted, and may have been a pretty savvy pick on the part of the scouting dept.