Walters working to become more complete hitter
KANSAS CITY -- Zach Walters could focus on the positives of his first 16 games with the Indians -- for example, his .508 slugging percentage -- but the youngster prefers to look at areas of his game that require improvement.
"I'm pretty cold right now," said Walters, who continued by disagreeing with the notion that he's a power hitter. "No, actually, I think I'm just a good hitter, believe it or not, but I don't say that because of my stats, obviously."
Walters' batting average (.186) and on-base percentage (.238) in 63 plate appearances with Cleveland jibe with his proclamation of the current cold streak. However, of Walters' 11 hits with the Tribe, seven have been for extra-base hits, including six home runs.
"If I can drive in runs while I'm not feeling really well, that's fine with me," said Walters, who clocked an RBI double in his team's 6-1 win on Friday.
In an admittedly small sample size, Walters carries the highest isolated slugging percentage -- a stat that attempts to quantify one's power-hitting capabilities -- among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances. His .296 ISO trumps all 412 MLB players that qualify, according to FanGraphs.com.
"Well, he's got a lot of sock in his bat," Tribe manager Terry Francona said. "I think he's enjoyed the fact that he's playing and when he swings at strikes, man, he does some damage."
Walters displayed similar power tendencies in his first 32 games this season with the Nationals. He posted a .205/.279/.462 slash line in 34 plate appearances, before being dealt to Cleveland for Asdrubal Cabrera on July 31.
The 24-year-old is attempting to break the power-hitting archetype that he views as restrictive and inaccurate.
"I want to get on base, I want to put together multiple-hit games like every other guy," Walters said.