In college, Corey Walter was known as a pitcher with big stuff but control problems held him back. During his first professional season, the right-hander showed what he could do when he was commanding the strike-zone. In 27 innings for the AZL A’s and the Vermont Lake Monsters, Walter posted a 2.33 ERA and a 27:11 K:BB. Walter induced nearly four-and-a-half groundouts for every flyout during his 20.1 innings with the Lake Monsters while also striking out a batter an inning. His groundball rate was a remarkable 65% with the Lake Monsters.
The 6’3’’ native of West Virginia pitched four seasons for his home state Mountaineers before being selected by the A's in the 28th round of this year's draft. During his senior season, Walter posted a 5.01 ERA and a 1:1 K:BB. The A’s remained interested in Walter despite those stats because of his fastball, which can touch 94 and has sink and a promising slider.
Walter is currently in Phoenix participating in the A’s fall Instructional League camp. He is likely to start next season with Low-A Beloit. Donald Moore spoke with Walter about his first pro campaign during the Lake Monsters’ final roadtrip of the season.
Donald Moore: How is everything going for you this year?
Corey Walter: It's going good, just getting used to everything, playing baseball everyday. Really great coming out here, met a lot of nice people and hopefully continue to grow as a baseball player.
DM: What were your goals for this season?
CW: To develop my off-speed. Throughout college I really felt that my off-speed was my downfall and that really needed improvement. I think with the instruction I've gotten, and then learning from all the other guys around me, that's been my key to a little bit of success as developing those off-speed pitches.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
CW: I'd say my fastball. It sinks a little bit and I feel like I can get some good ground balls, I think that is probably my biggest strength.
DM- What would you'd like to improve on?
CW: Probably command and still improve those off-speed pitches as I continue to move along.
DM: How do you feel you are adjusting to pro baseball?
CW: I think I'm doing a pretty good job. Just it's a grind coming out every single day. It's a little bit of wear as the season gets towards the end, but I am really loving it so far.
DM: What is the best thing about being a pro?
CW: Being able to come out and not to have to get a real job after college. I don't really consider this a job. I'm getting paid to do something that I love to do and I have always had a passion for baseball, so I think that's the best part.
DM: Any pregame routine?
CW: Not really. Just play cards and listen to music with the guys.
DM: What do you like to do in the off-season?
CW: Fish, hunt and anything sports related and stuff like that.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
CW: Probably my dad. Growing up, he was always my coach and I think, maybe not so much the higher parts of the game, but just the mental aspect and coming out with a clear mind everyday.
DM: Where do you see yourself four years from now?
CW: Hopefully in the big leagues. That's everyone's dream and all these guys around me are all working to get there, so hopefully, we can all continue to move up together, and hopefully all of us will be there in the next four years.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.
CW: Thank you.