The World Baseball Classic was the thrill of a lifetime for Milwaukee third baseman Mike Walker. Though Walker was born and predominately raised in the United States, his mother is a native of Wagga Wagga, Australia, and his time there as a child was connection enough to get the Brewers third base prospect named to the Australian team for the tournament. Walker explained “I lived in Wagga for two years while I was very young before moving back to California where I have been since then”.
Upon being selected to Team Australia, Walker was thrilled to don the green and yellow. “It’s a great opportunity for me, and I’m very excited to represent Australia on an international stage,” he said. And even though Australia’s run ended after just three games, Walker did well for himself, and gained some valuable experience playing on that international stage. In those three games, he went 5 for 11, good for an average of .455.
The 6’4″ slugger was born in Marysville, California and attended high school there before attending college at the University of Pacific, where he was named to the All-Big West Second Team his junior year. The Brewers selected Walker in the 14th round of the 2010 draft and he began his professional career that summer with Milwaukee’s rookie league squad in Helena, Montana.
Walker hit .277 with eight home runs during his first pro season. He led the Pioneer League in games played (74) and showed a good eye at the plate, leading the league in walks (60) as well.
With a successful first season under his belt, Walker was sent to Class-A Wisconsin for the 2011 season, and was also selected to play for the Brewers in their Rising Stars game at Miller Park. He spent the entire 2011 campaign in Wisconsin, batting .274 and clubbing a team high 15 home runs en route to being named a Midwest League All-Star. He also led the Timber Rattlers in RBI with 72 and was second on the team with an .842 OPS.
2012 saw Walker take the next step on his road to Milwaukee, as he was promoted to High-A Brevard County. He would play in a career high 129 games for the Manatees, batting .280 with 12 home runs and 75 RBI. He led the team in all three categories and was named to the Florida State League’s Postseason All-Star team.
Walker will begin his 2013 season at AA with the Huntsville Stars. With no clear-cut third base prospect in front of him, 2013 could be a pivotal year for the left-handed hitting Walker. If he can handle the jump from A to AA and continue to put up good numbers, he could find himself in Milwaukee’s plans in the next few years as age and injury catch up with Aramis Ramirez.