A day after clinching their first American League East title in 17 years, the Orioles have called up their minor league player of the year.
The club announced Wednesday it had selected the contract of first baseman Christian Walker from Triple-A Norfolk. He will take the place of the suspended Chris Davis on the 40-man roster.
The 23-year-old Walker hit .288 with 53 extra-base hits, 97 runs batted in, and 73 runs scored in 139 games split between Double-A Bowie and the Tides. He had been working out as part of the Orioles’ “taxi squad” in Sarasota this month and is expected to spell veteran Steve Pearce at first base over the final 11 games of the regular season with the division title wrapped up.
Though Walker wasn’t eligible for the Rule 5 draft and did not need to be placed on the 40-man roster this offseason, the Orioles will take this time period as an opportunity to evaluate the 2014 Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. With Davis scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season, many view Walker as the Orioles’ first baseman of the future.
The former South Carolina Gamecock was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 amateur draft.
He will wear jersey No. 18.