Outfielder Deion Walker has been promoted from the Florida Complex League to Single-A Bradenton by the Pittsburgh Pirates, a source has told Pittsburgh Baseball Now.
Walker was the Pirates’ 35th-round pick in the 2019 amateur draft. He has played in just 14 games this season due to a pinched nerve in his right arm.
The 20-year-old Georgia native has been in the Complex League for a few seasons now. However, during the 2021 offseason, Walker told PBN he was not happy about his performance and started to shift his mindset.
“When I came home, I wasn’t satisfied at all,” Walker said. “I was angry, upset, and looking for someone or something to blame for how the year had gone. I stressed over everything except for what I could control, and that’s when I changed, I shut up and dug in.”
During this year’s spring training, Walker played one game for the Pirates. Even though he struck out, he made an impression with slick defense in right field, along with a cannon of an arm to nab a baserunner at home plate.
“The perfect way to describe that game is it felt like the grand stage,” said Walker on playing with the major league club. “When I talked with the guys that have been in the majors before, they say it’s worth every moment. It was a taste of what I’ve been working for, and I want it even more now.”
Walker isn’t very well known in the Pirates’ system due to a number of reasons, the main being the abundance of outfield prospects in the system.
With Walker in Single-A now, he has the chance to show off his impressive speed and newfound confidence.
Walker is batting .231/.463/.269 with an OPS of .733 in 26 at-bats.