After breakout, D-Backs 1B enters 2023 with ‘different feeling.’

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker during spring training workouts at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale on Feb. 20, 2023.

It’s easy to forget now, but just 15 months ago, Christian Walker’s future as a Diamondback was uncertain.

Entering his first year of arbitration off a season in which he posted a .696 OPS, there was a tangible possibility that the club would non-tender him. Even in March 2022, at the start of spring training, he recalled it as, “a suspenseful time,” and not one any player wants to relive.

It’s understandable, then, that Walker describes this spring as a “different feeling.” Last year, he went out and finished fourth in the National League with 36 home runs. He won a Gold Glove. He was worth 5.1 wins — third most among first basemen and up from 0.5 the year before.

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