It can be difficult to be a teenager just in general, let alone as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but Taijuan Walker seems to have overcome his growing pains as of now. Walker had a terrible June after he lost confidence in his secondary pitches, but has regained that confidence when he realized he's one of the best pitchers in the world (Under-20 division.)
Facing Rays-affiliate Montgomery, Walker went 6 innings, allowing 2 hits, 0 R, 0 BB, and 8 K. In his last two starts, Walker has pitched 12 innings, 7 hits, 1 R, 2 BB, and 11 K. This, after posting an ERA of 9.15 ERA in June.
Walker talked to milb.com about his struggles:
"I had been working a lot," he said. "June didn't really go well for me, and so I had to go back and work on some things. I was just trying to build confidence and get back on track."
And how he got back.
"You just have to trust yourself," he said. "Everyone's going to have struggles at some point when they're a pro. You just have to work to get yourself out. So whether it's busting my butt in the gym or working hard in bullpens, I did whatever I had to do to get back on track. I think I'm there now."
Shortstop Brad Miller, playing in his third game since his promotion to Jackson, hit his first AA home run and went 2-for-4. Carter Capps, a phenom reliever, picked up his 19th save.
I think as Mariners fans, we're all just relieved that the young Walker is back to his old ways.