Let’s continue the New York Mets top 20 prospect list, spotlighting a young left-handed pitcher, ranked at #19 by Rising Apple writers, LHP Josh Walker.
Height/Weight: 6 ‘6” 225 Lbs Acquired: 2017 Draft, Round 37, 1117 Overall Pick, New York Mets, Where he played in 2021: Finished in Syracuse
This south-paw monster, Josh Walker, employed by the New York Mets, was drafted by the team in the 2017 MLB Amateur draft out of the University of New Haven. Walker, from Otisville, New York, also attended the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. At New Haven, Walker charged out of the bullpen 20 times, striking out 32 batters in 30 innings, slated a 3-1 record with a 2.40 ERA and 3 saves.
Mets prospect Josh Walker is a towering lefty, with a ton of athleticism, stride, and reach toward the plate. He shows good use of his body and arm length in a consistent and simple delivery, with good drive from his lower half through the hips. He has a low 90s fastball with good command and capability to use it as an at-bad ender. The fastball can be worked up and in to execute hitters and get strikeouts. His curveball ranges mid 70s to early 80s with solid downward breaking action, typically used as his out pitch. He is very confident in using the off-speed, especially against right handed hitters. In 2021, Walker struck out 98 sticks, while walking only 29, shoving a 3.73 ERA in 115.2 innings.
The Mets may be ready to see Josh Walker at some point in 2022 on the big field. Walker will need to show more confidence in using the fastball, along with possibly adding another off-speed option to his repertoire. The fastball has a lot of room to grow with regards to velocity.
Outlook for 2022 and beyond
Walker will start the year for the Mets in AAA with Syracuse, a well earned spot for the lefty. 2022 looks very promising for Josh, as we expect to see him get the call and work out of the pen. His off-speed, fastball, and IQ on the mound will shape him up to succeed at the big league level, once tweaks are made to velocity and additions of options are configured. Walker finished 2021 with a 9-4 record; 2022 could bring him a few wins and possibly saves.