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Six days till FSU baseball: Brandon Walker primed for breakout season

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Walker’s powerful arsenal fits the back-end of the pen.

FSU athletics/Haylee Blitch

Florida State baseball is going to have a stable of power arms to choose from in 2021. One of those comes from right in Tallahassee. Brandon Walker was FSU’s highest rated recruit to make it to campus last season, but only saw two appearances in 17 games. The North Florida Christian graduate has possessed power ever since he stepped on campus, but wasn’t consistent enough to be a reliable option in his freshman season. With growing consistency and confidence, Walker looks to be a breakout candidate for the Seminoles in 2021.

Walker is an athlete on the mound. Much of his power comes from his strong lower half. He explodes down the mound and has a quick arm action. The second-year freshman stands 6’1 and 195 pounds.

The right-hander has a powerful fastball. The fastball will usually sit in the 91-93 MPH range, but can sit in the 93-95 MPH range at times. He’s also shown the ability to run it up to 96 MPH at times. The fastball also has heavy run to it, bearing in on righties hands. The run can sometimes give him trouble controlling the pitch, but when he’s on, he’s able to consistently hammer the lower, arm-side portion of the plate with the pitch.

Walker’s biggest strides forward at FSU have come from his off-speed. Walker came to Florida State with a slider, which was a hard-biting pitch, but he struggled to control it. He now throws a knee-buckling curveball, which he consistently lands at 78-81 MPH. He’s shown the ability to throw it in any count against any hitter. The breaker has tight spin, with spin rates up to 2700. He also possesses a low-80’s changeup which is a weapon against left-handed hitters.

When Walker is commanding his fastball, he can be nearly un-hittable. Mike Martin Jr. wants power in the ninth inning, and that’s what Walker brings to the table. The Tallahassee Native will be in the mix for FSU’s closer spot this season. If he continues to make strides with his pitchability, don’t be surprised to see Walker shutting down games for the Seminoles in 2021.