New York Yankees Player Preview: Neil Walker

Donny Cembrale
Sep 18, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Neil Walker (15) hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The most recent off-season move for the New York Yankees is one that is terrific. Neil Walker is a nine year veteran, entering his tenth season and his first in pinstripes.

Walker was signed to a one year deal and will be competing for the Yankees starting second base job. The veteran is coming off a season in which he played for both the Mets and Brewers.

Walkers numbers last season, as per

.265 AVG, 14 HR, 49 RBI, .362 OBP, .439 SLG

What Walker brings to the Yankees:

He is a switch hitter who is a power threat. Walker hit a career high 23 home runs with the Mets in 2016, as per Playing in Yankee Stadium this season will be an advantage for him.

Walker can easily hit over 23 home runs in Yankee Stadium but, that is if he stays healthy. Walker has a history of back problems and he needs to maintain healthy to give the Yankees the type of productive year he want to.

Walker is also a solid defender which is a plus given how he is a threat at the plate. Some second baseman’s are one dimensional and are good at either hitting or defense not usually both. Walker also provides the Yankees with depth at first, and third base.

Walker is a great addition that will add to the already stacked lineup the Yankees have. He is terrific person in the clubhouse to have around Tyler Wade, who will most likely make the team.

2nd Base Battle:

Brian Cashman has stated that the second base competition was still open even after the signing of Walker. Tyler Wade and Gleybor Torres were the favorites heading into spring to win the job. Torres was optioned to minor league camp on March 13, so he’s been taken out of the running for the job.

Wade has played fantastic this spring and will definitely make the team on Opening Day. Wade might win the starting job at second, but I think it is more likely that Wade will be the Yankees super utility player, like the Cubs have in Ben Zobrist.

My Opinion:

I expect Walker to get a majority of reps at second to start the season and I think he will have a very productive year in pinstripes. Walker will be a great veteran to have around the clubhouse.