Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Walker Lockett MadFriars' Top Pitching Prospect of the Year for 2016

In a year of important and positive steps forward by prospects in the Padres' system, none may be more significant than what Walker Lockett accomplished.

Coming into the 2016 season, Walker Lockett’s future was not at all certain.

A fourth-round pick out of high school in 2012, the big righty with a power sinker had logged only 100 total innings in the previous three years, and had finished the 2015 campaign back in the Arizona League following a curfew violation in Tri-City. With a collection of young arms coming behind him, if he wasn’t ready to claim a rotation spot in Low-A Fort Wayne, a full season club, out of spring training, there might not be a place for Lockett in the organization.

But the Jacksonville native had a strong camp and was the TinCaps’ opening day starter. He threw five scoreless innings to open the year, and never really looked back.

By mid-May, he was promoted to High-A Lake Elsinore, where he was hit hard in his first game, but then turned in ten impressive starts. That earned him a ticket to Double-A San Antonio, and after six starts with the Missions, he joined Triple-A El Paso for their final playoff push in late August.

From Peoria to El Paso in just under 12 months.

Across those levels, Lockett put together a 2.96 combined ERA with an impressive 124:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 164 innings. In the upper minors he was even better, posting a 2.90 ERA and only allowing four walks among 58 total baserunners in 52.2 frames.

Read the rest of this piece at FoxSports San Diego.

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