Record-Setting Reliever ReturnsApril 1, 2013 - American Association (AA) Wichita Wingnuts
Walters returns for a second year in Wichita after a record-setting performance in 2012. The left-hander posted a 1.73 ERA and set an American Association mark (along with teammate Jared Simon) with 57 appearances. Former Wingnuts' pitcher Dustin Pease held the previous record, appearing in 54 games during the 2010 season. Walters did not allow an earned run in 49 of 57 appearances and struck out 53 batters in 52.0 total innings. Including the postseason, left-handed hitters were just 3 for 91 (.033) against Walters with 30 strikeouts. The Phoenix, AZ native was tough on right-handed bats as well, holding them to a .210 average. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Walters recorded the final four outs in the Wingnuts' clinching game against the Laredo Lemurs in last year's Division Series.
"'Walt' put up unbelievable numbers for us last year, and I can't describe how valuable he was to our team," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper. "He wanted the ball every night, and more often than not we were able to give it to him. He is as tough as they come against left-handed bats, and he has the ability to step into any situation and get us big outs."
Walters enters his ninth season of professional baseball with an 18-16 record, 15 saves, and a 2.97 ERA in 299 relief appearances. The 27-year-old lefty has averaged 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings versus 6.6 base hits. Walters has struck out 41 percent of the left-handed batters to face him during his career, while holding them to a .158 batting average. Walters has been especially dominant over the last three seasons where he has averaged just 3.8 hits allowed per nine innings. Walters was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 31st round in 2004 out of Dixie State College, and later spent three seasons in the Oakland Athletics' organization.
Walters gives the Wingnuts 21 players officially under contract for the 2013 season. American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.
2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler
The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.
Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Debit and credit cards will still be accepted. Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.
For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.
American Association Stories from April 1, 2013
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