Adam Walker's home runs tend to come in bunches and usually go very, very far. That was the case Saturday as the Twins' No. 10 prospect blasted a career-high three home runs to power Triple-A Rochester past Durham, 12-2.
Walker's trio of long balls marked his second multi-homer performance of the week -- he clubbed a pair of homers on Thursday -- and now gives him five in his last three games and nine in 35 games this season. It was the 24-year-old outfielder's first three-homer game in 487 games as a professional, as well as the first by a Rochester player since 1990.
"Definitely feeling pretty good," Walker told MiLB.com. "I've been a little up and down this season, but I think it's starting to come around: feeling comfortable in the box and just not missing my pitches. Feeling locked in a little bit. Just want to keep it going and build a little consistency."
Walker's first home run of the contest came in the top of the second inning, when he connected on a two-run shot against Durham starter Jaime Schultz (Rays' No. 19 prospect) to left-center field. He delivered another two-run homer in his next trip to the plate in the fourth inning to extend Rochester's early lead, 5-0, and then added a solo blast, a line drive over the left field wall, during the following frame.
MILB Video - Title: Walker's third blast - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=723488983
Walker would go on to bat twice more, striking out in the sixth inning and then once more in the eighth to finish the game 3-for-5. Though he's hitting just .240 with a 43.6 percent strikeout rate this season, his first taste of the Triple-A level, Walker's light-tower power currently has him tied with Steven Moya (Tigers' No. 10) and Jesus Aguilar for the International League home run lead.
Winning league home run titles has been an annual feat for Walker, who paced the Double-A Southern League (31 HR), Class A Advanced Florida State League (25) and Class A Midwest League (27) in each of the last three years, respectively.
Making his first Minor League start since being demoted by the Twins earlier this week, (No. 16 overall prospect Jose Berrios picked up the win for Rochester, but once again struggled with his command, walking five in five innings. The 21-year-old righty -- who struggled to the tune of a 10.20 ERA over four starts with the Twins -- still managed to be effective, however, as he held the Bulls to one run on three hits while striking out eight.