Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 195 B-T: S-R
Acquired: Drafted Supplemental Round in 2011 (47th overall) out of Central Arizona JC
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #7 – 2011 Midseason
- #8 – 2012 Preseason
- #8 – 2012 Midseason
- #8 – 2013 Preseason
- #16 -2013 Midseason
- VIDEO: Hitting 1 5/10/13
- VIDEO: Hitting 2 5/10/13
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, 3/25/15
- VIDEO: Full At Bat (walk), 5/27/2015
- All FutureSox articles tagged Keenyn Walker
- 2012 White Sox Fastest Baserunner (Baseball America)
- 2013 White Sox Fastest Baserunner (Baseball America)
- 2014 White Sox Best Outfield Arm (Baseball America)
Walker was a surprise to many to be drafted as high as he was, and saw limited action in his draft year (54 games) between Great Falls (Rk) and Kannapolis (A). After opening 2012 with a strong showing in Kanny and being promoted to Winston-Salem, he was injured in a weird collision on the base paths, and had surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder and right knee during the offseason. Hitting .201 with 153 strikeouts and an OPS of .596 in 2013 really hurt, though AA was probably a bit aggressive given his single season’s worth of play across A and A+. He looked like a good bounce-back candidate in 2014, but he was terrible repeating at Birmingham (.155/.231/.236, 45.1% K/PA) and better but still bad on demotion back to Winston-Salem (.217/.298/.278, 32.6% K/PA). In 2015 he looked like he may have turned a corner with a solid first couple months (.274/.367/.360, 25 SB in 31 ATT, and most importantly an “only” 19.8% K/PA rate), but when promoted to AA Birmingham he was again not up to the task offensively (hit .187). Walker ass back in AA for his 4th shot at the level for 2016, not hitting much (.240/.330/.340) and striking out quite a bit again (28.3%), though he’s also drawing some walks and showing the speed still.
Walker fits in similarly with the mold of draft picks Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson and Adam Engel: very athletic, but raw baseball players (though Walker doesn’t have nearly the power of Thompson). Walker’s best tool is his speed, which has been called plus-plus. The switch hitter has decent gap power when he connects, but likely won’t be a home run threat. He draws a good amount of walks, much like Mitchell did. His red flag is contact issues, something that should sound familiar to those who follow White Sox prospects, and which has begun taking a big toll on his output. With the glove, Walker’s speed allows for him to cover a lot of ground from center field and he has a strong enough arm to make him a solid defender. At this point it would be a shock if Walker actually puts it together and reaches the majors, given his inability to make consistent contact.
Major League Outlook: Speed/defense-first 4th outfielder
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