Athlete of the week: Freshman Carson Walker is making a name for himself on the diamond in his first year at Troup

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Carson Walker has put together an impressive freshman season with the Toup baseball team. New to the area this year, Walker has fit into the Tiger culture like he has been here all his life.

“I was pretty nervous when I got there because I really didn’t know anybody here,” Walker said. “I’ve made a lot of friends and earned a spot on the baseball team, so it has been going pretty well.”

It helps that Walker played travel ball with some of the baseball players in the area when he resided in Columbus. This helped Walker get acclimated to his new surroundings. 

He has thrived on the diamond for the Tigers, providing a lift off the bench and also starting a fair amount of games. 

“I expected to at least be in the lineup some,” Walker said. 

The trust Walker has from the coaching staff has helped him produce such a quality season in his first year with the Tigers.

“They give me the confidence to feel like I’m good enough to be in that starting lineup,” Walker said. “It feels pretty good to have their trust.”

Walker had to transition to a new role this year. His natural position, third base, was occupied by senior stud Reed Morris. Instead of pouting or looking for a way out, Walker put his head down and found a semi-regular spot in the outfield, a position that was entirely new to him until he started playing at Troup.

“I start some in right field with Demetrius (Hardnett) and when he is pitching I’m starting in right field,”  Walker said. “This will give me a lot more options in the future because if there is a college that wants to recruit me, and they already have third base filled but they need an outfield. It is good for me to get experience in other positions and give myself more options.”

Spending a year behind Morris has helped Walker learn the ropes of being a high school third baseman. 

“He has a lot of experience and I’ve learned a lot from him during the practices,” Walker said. “I watch him every game on third and see how he handles different scenarios. It is very cool to see a senior play the position.”

While it is far from guaranteed, Walker will have the inside track to win the starting spot at third base next season. 

Walker is still growing on and off the diamond. As he continues to add muscle to his frame while perfecting his technique, he will only get better, which is a scary sight for opposing pitchers. Going into the regular season finale, Walker was hitting .274 with a .430 OBP, 11 runs scored and nine RBIs. He has shown a tremendous eye at the plate despite his youth and has taken 17 walks in 23 games played. 

All these numbers show a special talent, but there is a stat Walker is most proud of: the one that sits in the home run column. Walker hit his first career home run against Bleckley County on April 6.

“I was thinking I could leg out a triple because I didn’t think it was going over and as I was running to second I looked over to see where the ball was, and it was over the fence,” Walker said with a laugh. “I was so excited. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had playing baseball.

“I couldn’t even hit a home run in batting practice. That was my first one, it was special.”

Walker has big baseball aspirations and turning those dreams into reality has to start somewhere.

“It’s always been my dream to make it to the MLB and be one of the best players ever,” Walker said.