Since joining the Pirates lineup at the tailend of the 2009 season and for good in 2010, 2B Neil Walker (Lynchburg, 2005-2006) has been a mainstay. Known more for his defense then anything, Walker occasionally had flashes with the bat. In each of his first two full seasons, he hit 12 HRs and then improved to 14 and 16.
In 2014, he broke through in a big way, hitting a career high 23 HR and driving in 76. he hit .271 with a career high .467 Slugging percentage, all of which helped the Pirates get to the playoffs for the second straight year after no postseason baseball in the Steel City for over 20 years.
Walker’s exploits did not go unnoticed by the rest of baseball, as he took home his first Silver Slugger award.