ShareThis Page

Walker ranks among top second basemen

Rob Biertempfel
| Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

It didn't take the Pirates' Neil Walker long to be rated as one of the best second basemen in baseball.

Walker will be featured on MLB Network's show "Top 10 Right Now: Second Basemen," which will air at 8 p.m. Thursday. Walker, 25, is the youngest second baseman on the top-10 list.

"It's very flattering," Walker said. "But I can't say that I'm either surprised or not surprised. I've always believed in my ability to play at whatever position they put me at."

Drafted as a catcher in 2004, Walker was moved to third base during spring training in 2007. Last season, Walker was called up to the majors in May and soon became the everyday starter at second base, despite playing second for just a handful of games in the minors.

Last season, Walker hit .296 with an .811 OPS and a .933 fielding percentage.

"With the help of a lot of people, I turned into a halfway decent second baseman," Walker said. "But I know there's still a lot of work to be done."

MLB Network's panel of analysts ranks Walker in the bottom half of its top 10, along with Brian Roberts, Rickie Weeks, Kelly Johnson and Ian Kinsler. The ranking criteria included offense, defense, upside and leadership.

Last month, MLB Network named Andrew McCutchen the No. 1 center fielder in the game.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.