Ryan Walker, a right-handed pitcher from Washington State University and a former Arlington High School standout, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the second pick in the 31st round (916th overall) in the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday.
Walker wrapped up his senior season in Pullman with a record of 4-4 in 23 relief appearances for the Cougars. He pitched to a 5.24 earnedrun average, struck out 47 and walked 25 in 461⁄3 innings of work. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Walker led the team with five saves.
Walker became the first Arlington baseball player drafted since the late Joey Dettrich was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2007.
Dettrich passed away in Oct. 2013 following a car accident.
His most successful season on the Palouse came as a sophomore in 2016, when Walker received All-Pac-12 honorable mention after going 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA and five saves for the Cougars.
A three-year letter-winner at Arlington under coach Scott Striegel, in 2012 Walker was the winning pitcher in the Eagles’ first playoff victory in 17 years.
“In high school, Ryan could really rely on his fastball and throw it by guys, but he’s always had a good breaking ball. Striegel said Wednesday. “He’s always thrown with a lot of arm whip and a little bit of a three-quarters delivery, and that naturally live arm action adds a lot of velocity to his fastball and break to his breaking ball.”
Striegel added that Walker told him he would likely head to the Giants’ spring training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona for a physical, and would likely be sent to San Francisco’s Class A short season affiliate in Keizer, Oregon.
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a Northwest League foe of the Everett AquaSox, and Walker will have a chance to pitch against Everett during a five-game series on July 11-15.
“It’s really cool for an alumnus of our program to have that kind of opportunity in professional baseball,” Striegel said.