White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

July 8, 2011

Canyonero! (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 8, 2011 7:30 pm

A 412 ft. dinger!


Baseball America’s Prospect Sheet features Lastings Milledge

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 8, 2011 1:15 pm

In the ‘Blast from the past’ section:

Lastings Milledge, of, White Sox: Milledge is still just 26, so we could still see the former Mets prospect back in the big leagues with a shot to rebuild his career. But for now, he’s having to prove himself again at Triple-A Charlotte. He did his share this week, hitting .367/.387/.800. If nothing else, Milledge illustrates how tough it is to be a righthanded corner outfielder in the big leagues. He has hit .287/.361/.432 against lefties in his career, which likely would have been enough to keep him in the majors. But his .261/.314/.378 career numbers against righthanders (in more than twice as many plate appearances) have been the difference between a long big league career and plenty of trips on the Triple-A-major league shuttle.

Milledge is hitting .292/.360/.480/.840 with 25BB and 38 K in 283 PA. Other numbers: .319 BABIP, 43% GB%, 13% LD%, 33 RC, 4.30 RC/27, .363 wOBA, 114 wOBA+, 129 OPS+.

The (Three) Quickest players to reach the majors from each draft

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 8, 2011 1:00 pm
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Callis @ BA:

Below is a list of the three quickest players to majors from each of the first 46 June drafts (draft round in parentheses):

Fastest Players To Majors, June Draft (Regular Phase Only)
Year Players/Teams (Draft Rounds)
2010 Chris Sale/CWS (1), Josh Spence/SD (9)
2009 Mike Leake/Cin (1), Drew Storen/Was (1), Stephen Strasburg/Was (1)
2008 Conor Gillaspie/SF (1s), Ryan Perry/Det (1), Daniel Schlereth/Ari (1)
2007 Ross Detwiler/Was (1), Eddie Kunz/NYM (1s), David Price/TB (1)
2006 Andrew Miller/Det (1), Joe Smith/NYM (3), Brandon Morrow/Sea (1)
2005 Joey Devine/Atl (1), Ryan Zimmerman/Was (1), Craig Hansen/Bos (1)
2004 Huston Street/Oak (1s), Cla Meredith/Bos (6), Jeff Fiorentino/Bal (3)
2003 Ryan Wagner/Cin (1), Chad Cordero/Mtl (1), Rickie Weeks/Mil (1)
2002 Kevin Correia/SF (4), Khalil Greene/SD (1), Zack Greinke/KC (1)
2001 Mark Prior/ChC (1), Dewon Brazelton/TB (1), Kirk Saarloos/Hou (3)
2000 Xavier Nady/SD (2), Ryan Bukvich/KC (11), Joe Borchard/CWS (1)
1999 Eric Munson/Det (1), Barry Zito/Oak (1), Matt Ginter/CWS (1)
1998 J.D. Drew/StL (1), Jeff Weaver/Det (1), Ryan Rupe/TB (6)
1997 Jim Parque/CWS (1s), Matt Anderson/Det (1), Troy Glaus/Cal (1)
1996 Mike Caruso/SF (2), Braden Looper/StL (1), Billy Koch/Tor (1)
1995 Ariel Prieto/Oak (1), Darin Erstad/Cal (1), Matt Morris, StL (1)
1994 Dustin Hermanson/SD (1), C.J. Nitkowski/Cin (1), Paul Wilson/NYM (1)
1993 Brian Anderson/Cal (1), Jeff Granger/KC (1), Darrin Dreifort/LAD (1)
1992 Jeffrey Hammonds/Bal (1), Chris Gomez/Det (3), Tim Davis/Sea (6)
1991 Benji Gil/Tex (1), Brent Gates/Oak (1), David McCarty/Min (1)
1990 Alex Fernandez/CWS (1), Lance Dickson/ChC (1), Chris Haney/Mtl (2)
1989 John Olerud/Tor (3), Ben McDonald/Bal (1), Scott Erickson/Min (4)
1988 Gregg Olson/Bal (1), Jim Abbott/Cal (1), Andy Benes/SD (1)
1987 Jack McDowell/CWS (1), Cris Carpenter/StL (1), Jack Armstrong/Cin (1)
1986 Mike Loynd/Tex (7), Greg Swindell/Cle (1), Bo Jackson/KC (4)
1985 Will Clark/SF (1), Pete Incaviglia/Mtl (1), Bobby Witt/Tex (1)
1984 Oddibe McDowell/Tex (1), Billy Swift/Sea (1), Scott Bankhead/KC (1)
1983 Jeff Robinson/SF (2), Roger Clemens/Bos (1), Carl Willis/Det (23)
1982 Bryan Oelkers/Min (1), Spike Owen/Sea (1), Bret Saberhagen/KC (19)
1981 Mike Moore/Sea (1), Frank Viola/Min (2), Jeff Keener/StL (7)
1980 Rich Bordi/Oak (3), Terry Francona/Mtl (1), Tom Gorman/Mtl (4)
1979 Jerry Don Gleaton/Tex (1), Steve Howe/LAD (1), Brad Mills/Mtl (17)
1978 Mike Morgan/Oak (1), Bob Horner/Atl (1), Brian Milner/Tor (7)
1977 Brian Greer/SD (1), Roger Erickson/Min (3), Paul Molitor/Mil (1), Ozzie Smith/SD (4)
1976 Bob Owchinko/SD (1), Floyd Bannister/Hou (1), Lary Sorensen/Mil (8)
1975 Rick Cerone/Cle (1), Danny Goodwin/Cal (1), Chris Knapp/CWS (1)
1974 Jack Kucek/CWS (2), Bill Almon/SD (1), Jim Umbarger/Tex (16)
1973 Dave Winfield/SD (1), David Clyde/Tex (1), Eddie Bane/Min (1)
1972 Dave Roberts/SD (1), Jim Crawford/Hou (14), Ray Burris/ChC (17)
1971 Mike Caldwell/SD (12), Jay Franklin/SD (1), Mac Scarce/Phi (8)
1970 Steve Dunning/Cle (1), Lee Richard/CWS (1), Terry Forster/CWS (2)
1969 Don Gullett/Cin (1), Larry Gura/ChC (2), Balor Moore/Mtl (1)
1968 Bill Lee/Bos (22), Thurman Munson/NYY (1), Oscar Gamble/ChC (16)
1967 Mike Paul/Cle (20), Ralph Garr/Atl (3), Dusty Baker/Atl (26), Jimmy McMath/ChC (2)
1966 Rich Nye/ChC (14), Gary Nolan/Cin (1), Reggie Jackson/Oak (1)
1965 Ken Holtzman/ChC (4), Joe Coleman/Was (1), Clyde Wright/Cal (6)

Can a hitting coach change things?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 8, 2011 12:30 pm
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Wischnowsky @ WSCR:

A few years ago, John Levesque, sports columnist for the now defunct Seattle Post-Intelligencer, tried to answer that question when he wrote, “When it comes to imparting knowledge and teaching the principles of hitting, big-league hitting coaches really don’t do much of either…

“Even if they tried to teach hitting, they’d run into a solid wall of resistance from self-centered, supremely focused athletes who’ve made it this far on talent and ability and aren’t about to change their swings for anyone, even if he’s got street cred in Cooperstown.”

Former Minnesota Twins hitting coach Rob Ellis, who wrote a book with Hall of Fame slugger Mike Schmidt about hitting, took things a step further.

Ellis told Levesque, “There’s very little solid instruction going on [at the major league level]. The hitting coach tends to be a PR guy, a hitter’s best friend, a security blanket, a go-to guy for salve on his wounds, a friendly guy who’s a little bit psychologist and a little bit con man…

“I never met one truly effective hitting coach. The system is not set up to teach hitting.” …

Smells Like Mascot: Welcome Home

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 8, 2011 12:00 pm
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Carl’s latest:


July 7, 2011

Dayan goes yard!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 7, 2011 7:45 pm

Boxscore. He also has 1 walk already!

White Sox sign 23rd round draft pick C Mike Marjama

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 7, 2011 3:00 pm
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Keisser @ PT:

Mike Marjama, a 23rd-round pick by the Chicago White Sox, signed before the deadline and has been assigned to Bristol in the Appalachian League. Marjama considered returning for his senior season after he was drafted later than anticipated and played for Orleans in the Cape Cod League before he and Chicago came to an agreement.

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’02″
Weight: 220
Born: 1987-12-02
Hometown: Granite Bay, CA
Class:  Senior

Scouting report:

PerfectGame.org (September 2010 report):

50. MIKE MARJAMA, 3b, La Crosse Loggers (Long Beach State/JR)
Well-proportioned athlete with line-drive bat, Gold Glove-type glove at hot corner; hit .286-2-37, lack of raw power limits upside

Here are his College Stats:

2011 .290 56-56 217 21 63 8 4 1 27 82 .378 12 2 36 5 .329 3 7 8-12 224 87 6 .981

He was in Sacramento City College before:

2010 .331 32-32 133 26 44 7 0 1 23 54 .406 11 6 28 5 .404 1 0 6-6 20 52 5 .935
2009 .306 42-42 157 33 48 12 0 0 24 60 .382 19 19 21 3 .439 1 2 8-10 32 69 10 .910

He played summer ball with the Lacrosse Loggers in 2010:

2010 .286 69 269 47 77 10 1 2 37 25 11 43 1 6 15 5 5 10

Chris Sale played with the Loggers in 2008.

Terry Doyle throws a complete game, striking out 6 and walking 0

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 7, 2011 2:00 pm


Birmingham Barons
Doyle (L, 3-3) 9.0 7 2 2 0 6 0 2.25

Doyle has a 81/16 K/BB ratio for the year. 32/5 in AA alone. His WHIP is 1.02. The guy is on fire!

Some more numbers for his games at AA: BB/PA 2.9%, K/PA 18.6%, BABIP .293, GB% 47%, HR/Air 1%, FIP 2.61, BsRA9 2.59

ESPN says Sergio Santos’ slider is MLB’s top out pitch

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 7, 2011 1:30 pm

ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN’s Stats & Information Group broke down its pitch performance data and looked at strikeouts by pitch type, compared to the number of two-strike pitches thrown with that particular pitch. A good “putaway rate” with a pitch is upwards of 30 percent. The major league average for all pitches is just below 20 percent.  In Santos’ case, he’s thrown the slider 101 times with two strikes this season and netted 47 strikeouts, most recently whiffing Royals rookie Mike Moustakas in the ninth inning on Monday. Santos’ “putaway rate” with the slider is 47 percent (47 divided by 101). …

Dayan Viciedo goes walk crazy! [UPDATE #2]

Dayan drew 3 walks in yesterday’s game!:

Charlotte Knights
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Viciedo RF 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 .324

Dayan is hitting .324/.371/.530/.901 with 23 BB and 65 K in 336 AB.

3 walks in one game! Dayan has seen the light!

UPDATE: That’s a 6.3% BB% and a a 17.9 K%. Other numbers: .369 BABIP, 48% GB%, 17% LD%, 61 RC, 6.92 RC/27, .384 wOBA, 120 wOBA+, 145 OPS+.

Other White Sox links: J.J. gives us his roster changes thoughts, James does the same (offensive improvement is the object of both), Chuck Garfien writes about the Most Intersting Man in the Sox locker room (photo gallery) (J.J. says ‘yeah, but’), and MLB Daily Dish’s Adam Bernacchio gives us the 5 best Free-Agent bargains this off-season (Brett Ballantini has been beating this drum for aquite some time now).

UPDATE #2: John Sickels talks about Dayan Viciedo:

Cuban defector signed to $ 10 million contract in 2008. Hitting .322/.364/.528 with 15 homers, 20 walks, 65 strikeouts in 335 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte. Power to all fields, should produce a solid batting average with plenty of homers despite so-so strike zone judgment. Poor defender at any position and likely a born DH, but he’ll hit. Age 22. Major League ETA: 2011.

July 6, 2011

White Sox sign 2nd round draft pick RHP Erik Johnson

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 11:55 pm
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Dyck @ CT:

The White Sox signed second-round draft pick Erik Johnson, a right-handed pitcher from Cal, and both he and top choice Keenyn Walker will report to rookie league at Great Falls, Mont., next week.

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’03″
Weight: 240
Born: 1989-12-30
Hometown: Los Altos, CA
Class:  Junior

Scouting reports:

Jim Callis @ BA

Big-bodied (6-2, 240 pounds) college arm with a 90-95 mph fastball and hard slider.
Johnson has a big, 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame and sometimes has trouble maintaining his mechanics. His delivery can get a little rigid and he loses his arm slot at times, though he’s been better about getting it back than he was last year. Johnson is quick to the plate and sits in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and tops out at 95. His best secondary offering is a hard slider that he can throw for strikes or use as a wipeout pitch and he also mixes in a slow, show-me curveball and a changeup that is inconsistent, but shows flashes of being a quality pitch. Johnson sometimes tries to be too fine with his fastball instead of trusting that he can overpower hitters with it. While he needs to sharpen his fastball command, Johnson has shown a good enough feel for pitching to get by and go deep into games without it.
John Sickels:
Johnson is ranked 97th on the Baseball America prospect list and 74th on the Perfect Game list, which would put him on the bottom fringes of the supplemental round or in the second. However, he has the power arm (90-95 MPH fastball, good slider) to go somewhere in the middle of the supplemental round for a team that believes they can refine his mechanics and polish his changeup.

John Sickels:

Cal-Berkeley pitcher works at 90-94 and has an impressive slider. Curveball and changeup need work if he wants to remain a starter. Workhorse body.

John Sickels:
Johnson is ranked 97th on the Baseball America prospect list and 74th on the Perfect Game list, which would put him on the bottom fringes of the supplemental round or in the second. However, he has the power arm (90-95 MPH fastball, good slider) to go somewhere in the middle of the supplemental round for a team that believes they can refine his mechanics and polish his changeup.

MLB Draft Countdown:

Johnson isn’t a more talked about draft prospect because of his mechanical issues, which have seen him suffer through bouts of wildness (37 walks in 83.2 IP). He began his college career as a reliever, which tinkered with his mechanics a bit, and now that he’s back in a starting role, he’s struggled to go deep into games.He does, however, feature pretty good velocity, topping out at about 95-96 mph. He complements his fastball with a very good slider. He also throws a curveball and a changeup, the latter of which has made solid strides throughout the course of the season.

PerfectGame.org reports from 2007

Here are his College Stats:

2011 2.83 7-4 18 18 0 0/5 0 105.0 68 33 33 59 102 12 1 3 356 .191 10 10 0 3 8
2010 4.09 6-3 16 13 0 0/1 1 77.0 85 41 35 34 73 5 3 4 293 .290 10 3 0 2 6
2009 4.41 3-6 19 9 1 0/1 4 67.1 71 41 33 28 55 11 1 10 264 .269 6 5 1 0 6

This is just too good to be true

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 2:00 pm
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Remember the Brandon Beachy-Carlos Quentin trade rumors? Well, MLB’s Mark Bowman says it’s not Carlos Quentin the Braves are after:

Like many Major League clubs, the White Sox seem  interested in the Braves’ wealth of young pitching talent.  But those fans hoping this means outfielder Carlos Quentin could be headed to Atlanta should be prepared for disappointment.

White Sox advance scout Bill Scherrer was at Turner Field for this past weekend’s series against the Orioles and he stuck around for this week’s series against the Rockies.  Given the White Sox and Orioles will not meet again until Aug. 8,  Scherrer has likely focused most of his attention toward the Braves’ pitchers.

While the Braves might be in the market for an outfielder, their primary focus will likely not be aimed toward corner outfielders like Quentin.  Instead they will continue to evaluate what Jordan Schafer can provide in the leadoff spot and  determine whether they need to increase their efforts to find a proven leadoff hitter like the White Sox have in Juan Pierre.

Pierre has batted .261 with a .322 on-base percentage and been successful with just 12 of his 22 stolen base attempts.   In other words, he hasn’t been the same guy who was successful with 68 of 86 stolen base attempts last year.  But since May 1, he has hit .270 with a .340 on-base percentage and been successful with seven of his 10 stolen base attempts.

With Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, the Braves are loaded with the non-arbitration-eligible, Major League-ready arms the White Sox are seeking.

Take him. Take him immediately! Of course, we won’t be getting a pitcher in return for Juan Pierre. Much less one with about 1 year of MLB service time and outstanding numbers. A couple slabs of barbeque ribs will be enough for the return.

Fangraphs’ David Laurila has another awesome Q&A. It’s A.J. Pierzynski’s turn.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 1:00 pm

David Laurila @ FG:

David Laurila: Who is A.J. Pierzynski?

AJ Pierzynski: I’m not what people think I am, for one thing. A lot of people think I’m a rough-and-tough and mean person. I’m just a normal guy who likes to have fun and is lucky enough to play baseball for a living.

DL: Where does that perception come from?

AJP: From all of the stuff people have written and said about me. And that’s fine. It’s not a bad perception to have on the field. But off the field I’m just a normal guy. I’d like people to know that.

DL: How do opposing players view you?

AJP: People have said that they don’t like playing against me, but that’s just because I try to win. I want to win. I play as hard as I can and I’ll do anything I can to help my team win that day. Sometimes that frustrates people. I’m not the first one to run out and give hugs to guys, and things like that. My job is to try to win and be friends away from the game. …

Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like the chances the White Sox start a long winning streak

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 3:30 am
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Schouwen @ CST:

So when manager Ozzie Guillen was asked if his team should shoot for something like a 14-5 record in the current 19-game stretch against the Central, Guillen spoke the truth.

“We’re not that good,’’ Guillen said. “I wish I could say, ‘Well, we’re going to win 15 and lose two.’ We can do that, but we’re not doing it.’’

Mostly true but doesn’t it feel weird to hear it from the manager of the team?

Other White Sox links: James looks on the Brandon Beachy-Carlos Quentin trade rumor and on Adam Dunn and his game yesterday, FutureSox looks at Tyler Kuhn’s promotion to AAA and Jose Martinez’s promotion to AA, and Brett Ballantini posts his mid-season report for the Sox.

July 5, 2011

White Sox sign 1S round draft pick OF Keenyn Walker (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 5, 2011 10:00 pm
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Callis @ BA:

The White Sox finalized their deal with top draft pick Keenyn Walker on Tuesday, signing him to a $795,000 bonus. The 47th overall selection, Walker had Tweeted (via @Keenyn_Walker) six days earlier that he had agreed to terms. His bonus exceeds MLB’s $739,800 recommendation for his draft slot. …

Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Height: 6’03″
Weight: 193
Born: 1990-08-12
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Class:  J2 (2nd year in Junior College)

Walker will report to Great Falls. He’ll be in in the lineup Saturday.

Scouting reports (videos after the scouting reports):

Baseball America:

Walker was drafted in the 16th round out of high school in Utah in 2009 and last year at Central Arizona, in the 38th round. Scouts have always been intrigued by the 6-foot-3 switch-hitter with standout tools and impressive athleticism. The raw tools don’t always translate on the baseball field, however, and he didn’t even start regularly last year. This year is a different story. Walker has performed well with wood and he should get more than the $250,000 he reportedly turned down out of high school. Walker has more power from the right side, but his lefthanded swing is more pure. He’s mostly a gap hitter with above-average speed, so he profiles as a good defensive center fielder. He has the speed to hit at the top of the order, but needs to cut down on his strikeouts. If he doesn’t sign, Walker will head to Utah.

John Sickels:

1-47) White Sox: Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: Blazing speed and greatly improved hitting skills, along with a solid glove, push him to the top of the White Sox draft list.

More Sickels:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona Junior College: The blazing fast, 80-speed Walker showed greatly improved hitting skills this spring, and in some draft classes would be rated a first-rounder. The deep nature of this class, plus the fact that junior college players get less attention than high school or four-year college players, pushes Walker back to second or third round slots for most. However, someone in love with his athleticism could easily choose him in the supplemental.

Sickels pre-draft:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona CC: Bats Both, 6-3, 185. Drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round in 2009 but didn’t sign. Toolsy, athletic, very fast, some power potential, has strikeout issues and is still rather raw, but toolsy enough to go on first day. Committed to Utah if he doesn’t sign. Hitting .421/.513/.622 with 28 walks, 35 strikeouts in 164 at-bats, 49 steals in 52 attempts.

Perfect Game:

Good athletic body, Plus run, nice arm, tools are there, looked good at PG National, good at AC, bat needs to come on

and the June 2008 scouting report:

Keenyn Walker is a 2009 OF/P with a 6’1”, 185 lb. frame from Salt Lake City, UT who attends Judge Memorial. Keenyn is a lean well put together very athletic player with fluid actions in the outfield. His throws carry well in the outfield with arm strenth. He is a switch hitter at the plate with a line drive swing plane. He showed a bit better from the left side and has good extension in his swing. He stays inside the baseball and uses all fields. He projects very large with added strength and is a very good, 6.53 sixty. Walker is extremely athletic and he could skyrocket up the charts by next year.

January 2008 and July 2007 reports at the link

Baseball America:

With their first pick of the night, the White Sox take Keenyn Walker, an outfielder from Central Arizona JC. He is a 65 runner that can stay in center field and profiles as a leadoff hiter.

Padilla @ ESPN:

“Keenyn is a kid that we’ve scouted extensively,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said. “He plays in a competitive junior college program in Arizona. He’s been very successful. He is a high ceiling athlete. Unlike some high ceiling athletes, this kid really has a feel for playing the game.”

Laumann projected Walker to be two and a half years away from making it to the major leagues if he progresses at an ideal pace. He compared the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Walker to Devon White and Carlos Beltran.

Kevin Goldstein:

msambor (chicago): thoughts on keenyn walker?

Kevin Goldstein II: I like him! Risky pick, but I like going with upside when you don’t have a first rounder. He definitely could flame out early, but it’s worth the risk.


Walker has decent patience at the plate as he led his team in walks this year with 36 (16.8 BB% (BB/AB)), which, combined with his speed, gives him potential as a top of the order hitter, but in order to reach that potential he will need to watch the strikeouts, which have been a problem for him. Walker struck out 45 times this year (21% K% (SO/AB)), which again led his team.

MLB.com’s 2011 scouting video:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15479701 (0:33)

Youtube’s 2010 scouting video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_u8en2vlXw (1:03)

MLB.com’s 2009 scouting video:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=4625607 (0:34)

Here are his Junior College Stats:
2011 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #10
Class: Sophomore
69 238 98 14 10 84 59 .412 6
70 73 .890
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
41 9 3 .509
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
124 5 0 .000

2010 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #5
Class: Freshman

58 97 29 1 3 42 16 .299 2
21 23 .300
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
18 7 2 .435
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
59 3 7 .899
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