Look Out for Steele Walker
In 2016, he led the Northwoods League in hitting with a .406 batting average, 47 runs, 31 RBI, 11 doubles and seven home runs and earned accolades as a post-season all-star. In 2017, former Woodchuck Steele Walker was impressive once again – this time for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Walker’s success at bat and his permanent move to center field during his sophomore campaign at Oklahoma attracted USA Baseball. He accepted an invitation to training camp for the Collegiate National Team on June 16. On June 27, Walker was announced as having made the 24-man roster for the series against Chinese Taipei.
Walker hit .333 in 72 at-bats for the Collegiate National Team with a team-best eight extra base hits including two home runs. He had a .417 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. He played right and left field. Walker was the MVP of the team's International Friendship series against both Chinese Taipei and Cuba. The success, he said, stems from a carefree approach to the game.
"The older you get, the more pressure there is, the more eyes are watching, the more that's at stake, but even more so, you've got to emphasize, 'This is a game,'" Walker said. "God's in control. My faith is in him. I'm having fun out here. I'm staying relaxed."
Part of Walker's success the past two summers might be due to his preference for wood over metal bats.
"When I make contact, I don't know, something in my brain connects with wood," Walker said. "It's natural." (Owen McCue, Baseball America)
After the Collegiate National Team finished up for the summer, Walker joined the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League. He was most recently named to the College National Team Top Prospects Lists coming in at number five.
Walker is going to be a junior at Oklahoma University. In the 2017 college season with the Sooners, Walker hit .333 with eight home runs, a team-leading 51 RBI and a .541 slugging percentage. We cannot wait to continue to watch Walker grow as a person and a player and to see what he accomplishes next.