Mike’s Mets Player Review Series: Taijuan Walker

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Now that the 2021 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Albert Almora Jr) to Y (Jordan Yamamoto). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher Taijuan Walker.

Player Review: Taijuan Walker

2021 Stats:

Major Leagues: 30 Appearances, 29 Starts, 159.0 Innings Pitched, 7-11 Won-Loss Record, 4.47 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 146:55 K:BB Ratio, 0.5 WAR

Story: After getting spurned by Trevor Bauer, the Mets pivoted to Taijuan Walker, signing him to a two-year deal worth $20 million on February 20. The move looked like a genius one early on as Walker dominated in the first half, going 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA and making his first All-Star team as the Mets’ lone representative. The All-Star Game didn’t go well for Walker as he gave up a homer to Mike Zunino in his lone inning of work in what turned out to be an omen for a disastrous second half.

The wheels started to fall off for Walker pretty much immediately as he went 0-8 with a 7.13 ERA after the All Star Break, including an awful start in Pittsburgh where he misplayed a dribbler into three runs before getting knocked out in the first inning. The Mets were never quite able to figure out why Walker was so inconsistent down the stretch but he did finish the year on a positive note by delivering solid starts in two of his final three turns in the Mets’ rotation.

Grade: C

Walker’s excellent first half was balanced out by an awful second half, making his C a natural grade. It is fair to point out that Walker may have hit an innings wall in the second half as his season total of 159 innings pitched was his most in a single season since 2017 due to injuries.

Contract Status: Signed Through 2022 (Will Earn $8 Million in 2022)

Odds of Returning: 100%

2022 Role: Fourth Starter

As of right now it looks like Walker will be the Mets’ fourth starter, although that could change if the team adds another proven pitcher after the lockout concludes. Walker should theoretically be better positioned to be effective deeper into the season thanks to his work last year but the Mets shouldn’t assume his All-Star form in the first half is what they will get in 2021. A more modest expectation somewhere in between what the star turn Walker had in the first half and the disaster after the All-Star Break would still be a fine back of the rotation starter in New York.

Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Mason Williams!

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Charles writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.