Everett AquaSox Spotlight: Donnie Walton

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Everett AquaSox Spotlight: Donnie Walton

Northwest League All-star Donnie Walton has been on fire since he has come up to Everett since he got drafted. The 5th round pick has been a stalwart in the infield and has flashed speed on the basepaths. The Seattle Sports Union (SSU) caught up to him for a quick interview.

SSU: You were the 5th round pick out of Oklahoma State. Where were you when you got drafted?

Walton: We were practicing in Columbia, South Carolina getting ready for the Super-Regional. We were taking groundballs and defensive work. One of the pitchers in the bullpen heard from my dad, he went over to the 3rd baseman and told him, then the 3rd baseman (an outgoing guy) yelled it out to everyone.


SSU: Ketel Marte is here today for a rehab assignment, any concern he is taking your job? Just kidding, have you talked to him, learned anything from him?

Walton: He was awesome, he come up and introduced himself. Yea, I picked his brain—he is a switch-hitting infielder like I am. Asked him what side he feels better at, kind of like me, he said left-handed. The only thing different is he has more power from the right.


SSU: I know you are a shortstop, but I have seen you at second base.

Walton: I play wherever they need me. I played 3rd in the All-Star game. Wherever they put me is fine.


SSU: You have 4 steals so far, Coach (Brian) Hunter had 74 with the Detroit Tigers you know, you gonna try and break that record?

Walton: No. I am just trying to get bases when I can. He has been great, we have been working on base running every day.


SSU: Base stealing isn’t just flat out foot speed, what else goes into it?

Walton: Good jumps, good technique, 1st movements. You don’t have to be unbelievably fast, you do have to have good instincts though.


SSU: Your dad played for Baltimore. When you were little did you know your dad was different / famous?

Walton: I knew it. And I wanted to be him and he was my hero.


SSU: You were drafted by the NY Mets in 2012, why did you stay at Oklahoma State?

Walton: It was decision for myself and family. Also, I had a knee surgery and the Majors would be a setback.


SSU: Your OSU Cowboys were stopped by Arizona in the College World Series, are there any lessons to be learned in loss?

Walton: It was difficult but a lot of people didn’t think we could even make it that far. We struggled in the beginning of the year, but we overcame that. It definitely taught me how hard it is to even get there, my first 3 years we were this close. One year we were in super-regionals, at our place, and we should’ve won but we fell short.


SSU: OSU has put a lot of players in the pros (17 in minors and majors). That is a lot, who is doubting OSU?

Walton: We got off to a slow start last year and lost. We only won 2 of our first 6 games. We lost on 4 walk offs in a row. We then got swept in conference play by (Texas) Tech. Every one thought we couldn’t get over the hump and gave up on us.


SSU: How did you guys get out of it?

Walton: We had good leaders on our team. And as a group in general we knew this team was special. We kept our heads up and learned from our mistakes. We didn’t get too low or too high.


SSU: What do you do get yourself up for a game? Music?

Walton: Not really. My routine is I call my nanna (grandmother) every day. She is from Scotland and moved over to New Jersey and is a huge Yankee fan. Mickey Mantle and those guys. I call her before every game.


SSU: Who was your favorite player growing up?

Walton: Chipper Jones was my favorite. Switch hitting infielder. Played the game right and everyone respects him. Only other game (other than Texas Rangers) I went to was a Mets game at Shea Stadium. I fell in love with the stadium and the Mets.


SSU: But you didn’t jump on the Mets when you drafted in 2012

Walton: <Laughing> No everyone did give me a hard time about that.

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