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NY Mets minor league pitcher Josh Walker is rising fast

Brooklyn's Josh Walker (28) pitches during their game against the Asheville Tourists at McCormick field on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The Tourists lost to the Cyclones 8-2.
Brooklyn's Josh Walker (28) pitches during their game against the Asheville Tourists at McCormick field on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The Tourists lost to the Cyclones 8-2.
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What does the New York Mets farm system have left after promoting Tylor Megill? Apparently, they have a former 37th round draft pick named Josh Walker. He’s rising fast and on his way to becoming a legitimate option for the major leagues.

If you’re unfamiliar with Walker, that’s okay. Before this season he had never pitched above High-A. Not even a prospect for the club coming into this season, the 26-year-old has suddenly become a name to watch.

Through 84.2 innings in the minors almost exclusively as a starter, Walker is 8-2 with a 2.87 ERA. He has graduated from Brooklyn, Binghamton, and is now in Syracuse. It’s what Walker has done in Triple-A in his last two starts that has people buzzing.

Josh Walker is becoming a legitimate option for the Mets

Walker’s last two starts for Syracuse include 15 innings, 2 hits, and 11 strikeouts. There’s no typo there. I checked. Two single hits in his last two starts. One in each. A total of 15 frames. The man is practically unstoppable.

It’s impressive what Walker has done while off the Mets’ radar. Looking back at his college numbers, it appears the Mets were taking a chance on even drafting him. In those 51.2 innings during the “higher learning” phase of his life, Walker was 3-1 with a 5.05 ERA. The Mets saw something in the collegiate reliever and took him with a late-round draft pick anyway.

And that’s a part of the story, too. Walker made only one start in college. During his first two years as a professional, he split duties as a starter and reliever.

Taking a chance on him in 2021, the organization has awarded him with 15 starts and a single relief appearance. The results have been outstanding.

Along with the great record and ERA, Walker owns a 0.87 WHIP. He’s allowing an average of 6 hits per 9 innings of work and walking 1.9 over that same amount of time. This isn’t luck. The man is everything on the mound you could desire.

Walker has pitched well enough to deserve a chance on the Mets this year—but that opportunity may not come. The club has reinforced its starting rotation. Time is running out for a promotion and a debut from Walker.

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This doesn’t mean his lone shot to make it to the show is over. There’s always next year, but I’m sure he’d like to be rewarded much sooner.

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