2017 REPORT CARDS: NEIL WALKER

We continue on today with our new series slated to run through the next several months of the offseason, taking a look back at each of the 50 players who suited up for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2017 season.  We’ll recap their 2017 campaign with an eye looking forward to 2018 as well, as we remember an unexpected and exciting 2017 season at Miller Park.

NEIL WALKER – 2B

THE NUMBERS:  Walker appeared in 38 games after joining the Brewers late in the season.  He wound up batting .267/.409/.433 with eight doubles and four home runs, scoring 19 runs while driving in 13 as a Brewer.

SEASON REVIEW:  Walker started the 2017 season as a member of the New York Mets.  He hit .264 with ten home runs in 73 games, but suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for more than a month.  He returned to the Mets in late July, then was traded to Milwaukee two weeks later in exchange for minor league pitcher Eric Hanhold.

A veteran presence in the locker room, Walker saw time at both second base and first base after joining the Brewers, giving their lineup a boost as a switch-hitter who they could pencil in the lineup every day.  He appeared in 15 August contests after joining the team, and wound up hitting .304.  He cooled off a bit in September, but still provided an upgrade for Milwaukee as they chased the final wild card spot in the National League.

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GAME OF THE YEAR:  Walker hit safely in each of his first eight games after joining the Brewers, but his best game may have come later in the year as the Brewers routed the Marlins by a score of 10-2 in a game at Miller Park on September 15th.  Walker was on base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk, a single and a home run, driving in four of Milwaukee’s runs as they rolled to victory.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

OUTLOOK FOR 2018:  A free agent after the 2017 season, Walker hit the open market in November.  While the Brewers would certainly love to have him back again in 2018, they likely won’t overpay to do so.  That could result in a waiting game as Walker waits to see what his options are, but if he does wind up signing elsewhere, the Brewers will need to make another move to shore up the second base position.