Christian Walker making case to represent D-backs in Home Run Derby
PHOENIX — Major League Baseball’s All-Star break is just under two weeks away.
But before the 2022 MLB All-Star Game will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 19, the annual Home Run Derby will take place the day prior.
And while former Arizona Diamondbacks and current St. Louis Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt leads the National League in All-Star voting among all NL first baseman, that doesn’t mean D-backs 1B Christian Walker won’t have a chance to flex his muscle as one of this year’s top HR hitters in the Home Run Derby.
“I think it’d be a great honor for him,” manager Torey Lovullo said Monday of Walker potentially participating in the derby. “He’s got 21 home runs and he’s doing a fantastic job for us, he’s anchoring first base.
“He’s a very good baseball player that’s having a terrific year. When you’re looking for midseason accomplishments, he’s among the league leaders and I think he deserves some very strong consideration.”
In 78 games (274 at-bats) so far on the 2022 campaign, Walker is eighth in all of MLB and ranks third in the NL with 21 big flies.
However, 16 of those have been solo shots, which makes up 76% of his home runs this year and is why Walker’s 42 RBI are tied for 24th in the National League and tied for 42nd in MLB.
Only New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge — who leads Major League Baseball with 29 home runs — has hit more solo blasts this season with 21.
To put Walker’s success at the plate this season in perspective from a D-backs standpoint, the first baseman leads the team in both home runs and RBI, with outfielders David Peralta and Daulton Varsho both tied for second with 11 big flies.
And while Walker’s .207 batting average and .313 on-base percentage aren’t leading the Diamondbacks, his .478 slugging percentage is and his .791 OPS is second behind Peralta for the best on the team.