Jared Walsh's virtual Swiss Army knife skills were on full display Saturday.The Angels' No. 24 prospect went 6-for-8 at plate and hurled an inning of scoreless relief as Triple-A Salt Lake completed a doubleheader sweep of Albuquerque at Isotopes Park. The Bees took the opener, 8-4, then held on for
Jared Walsh's virtual Swiss Army knife skills were on full display Saturday.
The Angels' No. 24 prospect went 6-for-8 at plate and hurled an inning of scoreless relief as Triple-A Salt Lake completed a doubleheader sweep of Albuquerque at Isotopes Park. The Bees took the opener, 8-4, then held on for an 8-7 win in the nightcap.
In the first game, Walsh walked in the first inning against Pat Dean before stroking a two-out single to center field off the left-hander in the second and grounding a base hit to right in the fourth. He flied out facing right-hander Logan Cozart to end the fifth but capped his three-hit effort with a two-out knock to right off righty Yency Almonte in the seventh.
In the nightcap, the 2015 39th-round pick lined a two-out single to center off lefty Chris Rusin in the opening inning. He added a single to left and scored on Nick Franklin's grand slam in the fourth and, after striking out in the fifth, reached on an infield hit in the sixth against Rockies No. 26 prospect Jesus Tinoco.
Walsh began Game 2 as the Bees' designated hitter but took the mound in the sixth and gave up one hit in relief of starter Parker Bridwell (6-4). It was the 25-year-old's ninth appearance and lowered his ERA to 3.00 ERA across nine innings.
Bees 8, Isotopes 4 | Bees 8, Isotopes 7
"I played in the instructional league during the fall and was focused solely on pitching," Walsh told MiLB.com's Michael Avallone in February. "I wanted to work on my mechanics but more importantly to see how my arm would feel and respond. There aren't a lot of 25-year-olds at instructs, but I was excited to be out there.
"Generally, every team has one position player who gets thrown out on the mound if games get out of hand. With my pitching experience in college, I've been that guy. I had a few opportunities and [the Angels] liked what they saw, I guess. I was happy for the chance when they approached me about this."
Walsh compiled a 2.60 ERA over 55 innings his senior season at the University of Georgia. The left-hander is one of several players in the Angels system being deployed as two-way threats, including big leaguer Shohei Ohtani and Bees teammate Kaleb Cowart.
The Wisconsin native, who has played first base and right field in addition to his mound work, is 12-for-24 (.500) with eight runs scored and seven RBIs over his last five games. He had his first career three-homer effort on Tuesday and boasts 11 long balls in his last 15 contests.
Walsh tops the Pacific Coast League with a .667 slugging percentage and a 1.096 OPS. He's third with a .429 on-base percentage and eighth in batting (.326). And despite three callups to the Majors, he has 25 dingers with Salt Lake, fourth-most in the league.
Taylor Ward also had six hits across the twinbill, including his 23rd homer in Game 1, and scored five times. Jose Rojas extended his homer streak to four games in the opener with his 26th of the season to back Alex Klonowski (1-5).
Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB.