According to Walker, that slump could be indicative of Flowers not staying steady with his swing until later in the season.
“Tyler has had some different ideas about how his swing works than what we did,” Walker said. “In Spring Training, he scuffled and we kind of, at the very end, gave him what we thought he should be doing. He got off to a really good start and when he scuffled, he went back to some of his thoughts. So, when he came up this year, I really didn’t know where he was with his swing.
“But he’s been pretty much a sponge since he got up [to the White Sox]. Paulie [Konerko] and other players in the clubhouse talked to him about how his swing should work, and he bought into it.
“His flips, his batting practices. He’s hitting balls technically correct in batting practice that might be some of the longest. … I’ve never seen anyone consistently hit them that far in this park during batting practice.”
Flowers went to the instructional league to get at-bats with his adjusted swing approach after the regular season’s conclusion. Walker said the catcher was open to going to winter ball if a job opened.
“That tells you something about where he’s at,” said Walker of Flowers, who finished 1-for-11 in eight games with the White Sox. “The first thing you ask is if his swing is technically correct and will hold up in a game with a 95-mph fastball, and I think it does. We have to get his pregame swing incorporated into [his] game swing. He can do it. How quick? I have no idea. It’s case to case.
“He’s a tremendously talented kid that is trying to correct some swing problems and some approach flaws, in my mind. I’m still confident he’s on the right track, but this winter is important to him.
“Sometimes you fail before you succeed. I wouldn’t consider his year a total failure by any means and I really haven’t lost any confidence. If anything, it has grown. Now we are seeing a consistent and correct swing, we are seeing consistency in pregame work we’ve never seen before. I’m excited about where it can go.”