Walker's Wednesdays

Chris Walker knows the fastest way to get better is to work with those better than you. This week, Walker talks about his workout partner, catcher Michael Barrett. Who would have thought the speedster Walker could have learned a thing or two about baserunning from the Cubs backstop?

It's been an eventful week as I got the chance to work out with Michael Barrett Mike is the current catcher for the Cubs and a recent winner of the Silver Slugger Award (the award for the top hitting catcher in the major leagues).

This guy works harder than anyone I've ever been associated with. We started out stretching to warm up and get loose. Right off the bat, we did base running and this wasn't normal for me. Usually, base running involves running a single and rounding the bag, a double, triple, and dreadful inside the park home run.

Now I take a lot of pride in my base running and I thought I was pretty good at it. Well, this time I was connected to a bungee cord while I ran.

The cord added so much resistance it wasn't funny. At the end of the double, I was so tired that I started to see what type of work it takes to get to the Major League level. Michael gave me a few pointers on base running and it helped out.

Once the running was over, we long tossed and hit. Michael's trainer and former Colorado Rockie, Eric McQueen, gave me some pointers on hitting. The information I gained that day will really benefit me.

Watching Michael train made me want to work that much harder. I look forward to getting a chance to workout with these guys again this upcoming week.

I know that Michael will leave for spring training soon, and I'll report a few weeks after him. I'm looking forward to joining him in a few big league games again this year. To be honest, I hate this part of the year.

The only thing that's on my mind is the upcoming season. I'll sit and ask myself, "Did I do enough today and am I ready for the season?"

I have many goals for this season. The main part of my game I've been working on is cutting down my strike outs. I'm learning pitch recognition and I'm letting the baseball to travel longer before I swing the bat. I want to steal at least 80 bases, score 100 runs, hit over .300, and have an on-base percentage of .400 this season.

I'm really excited about this upcoming year. If things go right I'll get a shot to play at the Double-A level this season. I look forward to playing in front of my family this year. My family is spread out all over the south, and for the first time in my professional career, I'll be close to them.

Double-A puts me a step closer to Chicago and after seeing Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno make the jump. I know that there's a chance for me to get the same opportunity and can't wait to show that I can make the necessary adjustments to make the jump to "The Show" next season.


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