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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Infielder Neil Walker retires after 12 MLB seasons

Veteran infielder Neil Walker announced his retirement Tuesday after 12 major league seasons.

Born in Pittsburgh, he played his first seven seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates before playing for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies over his final five seasons.

Walker, 35, made his announcement on Twitter, writing, “thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a Major Leaguer, I loved & cherished every day.”

The Pirates selected Walker with the 11th-overall pick of the 2004 draft and he went on to hit 93 home runs with 418 RBIs while slashing .272/.338/.431 in 836 games. His best major league season came in 2014 when he hit .271 and set career bests with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs, earning a Silver Slugger award. His 23 home runs broke Bill Mazeroski’s franchise record for home runs in a season by a second baseman.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2021 at 05:42 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: neil walker

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: April 20, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6014498)
Numbers quoted above are with the Pirates. Almost 1200 games in the majors, 138 homers. He played about 800 games in the minors/winter leagues before getting a decent chance in the majors. Converted to a second baseman because the Pirates were going through one of their patented positional meltdowns, stayed at second for 7 or 8 years.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: April 20, 2021 at 10:05 PM (#6014569)
Walker and Bruce are an interesting comp. Walker was the #11 pick in 2004, Bruce #12 in 2005. Bruce has 1500 more PA which is mostly his earlier start. Walker ends on 19.6 WAR, 3.4 WAA; Bruce on 20 WAR, -1 WAA. Walker put up a 109 OPS+, Bruce 108. Bruce had a couple of pretty big years while Walker was more consistent. Walker pretty useless after 31; Bruce pretty useless after 30.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: April 20, 2021 at 10:51 PM (#6014580)
and both graced the Mets with their presence in their decline phase!
   4. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 20, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6014581)
Thanks, Rennie, I just learned that Neil Walker was a C or 3B for his minor league career, only suddenly playing 2B in the year he made the bigs.

He has 32 career 2B games in the minors, and 1050 in the majors.

   5. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 21, 2021 at 12:33 AM (#6014589)
Thanks, Rennie, I just learned that Neil Walker was a C or 3B for his minor league career, only suddenly playing 2B in the year he made the bigs.

Interesting. Don't know if I ever knew that.

This would be because they brought up fellow future star Pedro Alvarez to play 3B at the same time.
   6. Russ Posted: April 21, 2021 at 11:15 AM (#6014633)
This would be because they brought up fellow future star Pedro Alvarez to play 3B at the same time.

It's mostly because, with the exception of about 8 non-consecutive years, the Pirates organization has been a tire fire for the last 40.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: April 21, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6014636)
if by "tire fire" you mean they have not won a single playoff series since 1979 - then yes.
   8. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: April 21, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6014637)
Better than Warren Morris, I suppose.
   9. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 21, 2021 at 01:51 PM (#6014722)
He was a pretty good fantasy option for a few years there: a 2B with some pop and a better-than-average OBP.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2021 at 06:37 PM (#6014813)
fellow future star Pedro Alvarez

All-Star 2013 (EDIT: wow, he led the NL in HR)
   11. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 21, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6014821)
Heh. I remember when Matthew Berry used to do fantasy baseball, he'd talk about Pedro Alvarez in an Italian accent. That always tickled me.
   12. jingoist Posted: April 22, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6014966)
He is a Pittsburgh “local”, as he grew up in Pine/Richland area at the North end of Allegheny county and was quite the star in high school.
Always nice if a local kid can make good in the majors, and he did.
I grew up 40+ years before Neil in the township just south of his.
We never had anybody do much in any professional sports league, so it was seen as a big deal when Neil got called up.

Nice career, plus he probably made almost $50M more than anybody else from that part of the world.

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