First baseman Trey Mancini, who entered Friday batting .269 with a .782 OPS and six home runs for Norfolk, hadn't homered since June 3. Left fielder Christian Walker, who went into the weekend batting .240 with nine homers and a .715 OPS, hadn't homered since May 31. The two accounted for more than a third of Norfolk's 42 home runs through 67 games.
Most of the intrigue entering the season for the Tides comes in the crowded outfield. Christian Walker, one of the Orioles' top hitting prospects, is set to be the everyday left fielder as he learns that position. Xavier Avery, who was the last cut from the major league team after a great spring, will play center field. They're joined by outfielders Henry Urrutia, Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, and Alfredo Marte.
Christian Walker¿s powerful spring training continued Thursday at JetBlue Park against the Boston Red Sox, where after a first-inning strikeout he cleared the replica Green Monster in left field with a three-run home run in the third inning of the Orioles¿ 9-5 loss.
The Orioles are withholding judgment on the likelihood that South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim will win an everyday job in left field, but it certainly appears they are preparing for an alternative scenario.
Orioles first baseman Christian Walker made a strong impression in his first spring training game Tuesday, driving in three runs and hitting a two-run homer in the Orioles' 4-4 10-inning tie with the Atlanta Braves in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.
Back when the offseason began, there was every reason to wonder if the Orioles would arrive in spring training with the famous Abbott and Costello question hanging over their heads. They really didn't know who would be on first with 2015 major league home run king Chris Davis heading into the free-agent market and top prospects Christian Walker and Trey Mancini still in development.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Sunday that the Orioles were considering giving first-base prospect Christian Walker an opportunity to expand his skill set by playing in the outfield at Norfolk, but he backtracked a bit Monday.
Orioles prospect Christian Walker said he has followed the club¿s attempts to retain first baseman Chris Davis, and concedes he can¿t help but think about how that might affect his opportunities with the major league club in the immediate and long-term future.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with the media this afternoon at FanFest and spoke about several topics, including the team's chase of Chris Davis, the team's alternatives at first base, the love he gets from the fan base, the growth of Kevin Gausman and the return of Darren O'Day.
The Orioles added four players to their expanded roster before Tuesday¿s game, recalling right-hander Tyler Wilson, first baseman Christian Walker, outfielder Junior Lake and right-handed reliever Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk.
First baseman Christian Walker entered the final weekend of the regular season with an International League-leading 13 home runs since the All-Star break, with three in six games before Friday. He homered twice Thursday in a 6-2 loss to Gwinnett, raising his average to .260 on the season with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs.
First baseman Christian Walker homered four times over the course of the seven-game hitting streak he carried into Friday, giving him nine home runs on the season and raising his average to .262 with 12 hits in 31 at-bats during the streak. Walker entered the weekend second on the Tides in home runs, and tied for second behind outfielder Dariel Alvarez with 42 RBIs.
The Orioles' decision to option right-hander Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk following his start Tuesday night was an easy one, especially considering Gausman had brought up the idea to pitching coach Dave Wallace two days earlier to keep pitching every fifth day over the All-Star break.
After sending right-hander Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk following his start Tuesday night, the Orioles have recalled first baseman Christian Walker from Norfolk and he will start today's afternoon game in Minnesota, batting fifth as the Orioles' designated hitter.
First baseman Christian Walker enjoyed his best month in Triple-A in June, batting .337/.411/.480 with a pair of home runs and eight doubles in 25 games. The 24-year-old Walker, who debuted for the Orioles last September, entered Friday's game batting .275 and carried an 11-game hitting streak into the weekend, with three of his five home runs on the season coming in that stretch.
First baseman Christian Walker entered Friday with four multi-hit performances in eight games, a stretch that pulled his batting average up from .235 to .269. He isn't hitting for average the way he did in 2014 with Bowie — his only home run in his first 33 games came May 1, and he entered Friday slugging just .354 for the season. By comparison, he slugged .489 between Bowie and Norfolk in 2014.