Last week we wrote about Detroit Tigers prospect Steven Moya, his outstanding home run power (the one loud tool) and his propensity for strikeouts, a propensity that makes it uncertain if his power will play often enough in the majors for him to be a regular in the majors. In the comments section a reader asked if Minnesota Twins prospect Adam Brett Walker has a similar profile.
The answer to that is yes. Walker sometimes gets overlooked in a Twins system featuring players like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton and Walker's Chattanooga teammate Max Kepler (the German outfielder having a breakout season himself), but Walker has done some amazing things this year.
Through 87 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Double-A Southern League, Walker is hitting .263/.318/.560 with 24 homers, which is a 39-homer pace in a 140-game minor league season. The tradeoff is contact: Walker has already whiffed 136 times in 327 at-bats. He's also drawn 26 walks (none intentional) but yeah, that's a lot of strikeouts.
Walker's power is completely genuine. It got him drafted in the third round in 2012 from the Jacksonville University. It resulted in 14 homers in 232 at-bats of rookie ball, 27 homers in 508 at-bats in the power-difficult Low-A Midwest League, and 25 homers in 505 at-bats in the power-difficult High-A Florida State League. He's carried that power forward this year, enhanced it even. Reports indicate that Walker can crush a fastball but has issues with breaking pitches, though he's still seeing enough heat to mash in Double-A.
Age 23, Walker is a 6-4, 225 pound right-handed hitter and thrower. He runs well for a bigger player, can snag a few steals and is adequate at the outfield corners but there's no question that the bat is the thing here.
Like Moya in Detroit, Walker has 30-homer power if he can make sufficient contact against advanced pitching. Given the relative rarity of this type of pure power in today's baseball, Walker will get an opportunity at some point. You could also hear his name in trade rumors.