Wheeling’s Walter Promoted by Oakland A’s

WHEELING – Former Wheeling Park and West Virginia University pitcher Corey Walter fared so well in his debut with the Oakland Athletics organization that he is already onward and upward.

Walter, a 28th-round selection by Oakland in June’s Amateur Draft, is headed to Vermont to join the Vermont Lake Monsters of the Class A shortseason New York-Penn League, it was announced Thursday. The quick promotion comes after he dominated in the Arizona League.

Pitching four times out of the bullpen for the Arizona League A’s, Walter struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and did not allow an earned run. In his last outing, Walter fanned four in two perfect innings of relief.

In his short pro career, Walter has allowed just two hits and has a strikeout rate of 9.4 per nine innings.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander said after being drafted that he didn’t know whether the plan was to use him as a starter or reliever. At least for now, it’s the latter.

A former OVAC Player of the Year, Walter was part of a record Mountaineers draft class that produced six draftees. He finished his college career, which was spent primarily as a starter prior to last season, with a 14-19 record.

During his senior season at Wheeling Park, Walter went 11-4 on the mound with nine complete games and a 1.76 earned run average. At the plate, Walter piled up a .376 batting average, including 74 hits – 17 doubles, three home runs – and drove in 39 runs while scoring 47 times.

The Lake Monsters, who count Jason Bay and Milton Bradley, among others as alumni, are 8-12 on the season. The current Vermont roster features 17 pitchers, including 12 right-handers.