Saturday concluded the month of June 2012, and Taijuan Walker probably couldn't be happier about it. The pitching phenom just concluded the worst statistical month of his short career. Walker faced the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Saturday and went 5 innings, giving up 6 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB and striking out 3. On the bright side, Pensacola had 11 groundouts and only one flyout, giving Walker one of his best days this year when it comes to keeping the ball on the ground, but struggles with command and efficiency plagued him all month.
Taijuan had an ERA of 1.64 in April and 2.82 in May, making him one of the most effective, talented, and successful pitchers in AA despite being the youngest player in the league. However, he had a 9.14 ERA in five June starts and walked 15.4% of batters, double what he had allowed coming into the month. Walker walked two batters or less in eight of his first nine starts but walked three or more batters in four of his five starts in June. He also had allowed just one home run coming into June and then gave up three during the month.
Whether it's fatigue or just being a teen, Walker is struggling right now but should get back on the right track eventually because he hasn't lost his killer fastball and curveball combination. Let's just hope that he's a much bigger fan of July.