White Sox select OF Steele Walker with 46th pick

Steele Walker may sound like a character out of the latest Star Wars movie, but the outfielder out of University of Oklahoma is one of the better college bats in the draft.

According to 2080 Baseball, the corner outfielder is a high contact bat with an ability to spray line drives across all fields thanks to above-average bat speed and a compact stroke. Though not a burner, he shows good feel on the grass and on the bases, and should be an asset in all facets of the game.

By the Numbers

Date of Birth: 7/30/1996
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 190
Position: OF
2018 Stats
AB: 216
Slash line: 352/.441/.606
OPS: 1.047
HR: 13
BB: 31
SO: 48

Wood bat success

Due to his size Walker projects to have average power. Conversely, the junior out of Prosper, Tex., hit double digit home runs this season at the Oklahoma. Baseball America also highlights his seven dingers in 53 games with a wood bat in the Northwoods League during the summer of 2016. There, he posted an impressive slash line of .406/.479/.557. He led the league in hitting that summer.

Walker does not have an immensely high ceiling because of his lack of tools and corner profile. But in a tweet by James Fegan of The Athletic White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler mentioned the possibility of him playing center. Baseball America adds that he is among the safer bets in the class to have some sort of major league impact.

College pedigree

In addition to his big junior year, which included First Team All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season, Walker collected First Team All-Big 12 honors in his sophomore season. He started all 59 games for the Sooners. He led the team with a .333 batting average and a .413 on-base percentage, ranked fifth in the Big 12 with a .541 slugging percentage and finished tied for fifth with 51 RBIs.

As a freshman, he earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball News, was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 Freshman Team. He started 56 games, primarily in center field, leading  the team in doubles with 17; tying for second most in program history by a freshman, finished second on the team in RBI with 32 while registering 15 multi-hit games and posting a .290 batting average, .352 on-base and .414 slugging percentage.

Here’s a video of him in action from MLB.com:

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