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Dave Walling

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David Walling

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Dave Walling attended Grossmont College in California for two years before transferring to Arkansas. In his two years as a Razorback, he was first team SEC once and second team SEC once. He holds (as of 2008) school records for season strikeouts (155 in 1999) and single game strikeouts with 16 against Eastern Illinois University in 1998. He went 10-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 1998, but whiffed 128 in 103 innings. He improved to 10-2, 3.78 in '99 with 155 K in 121 IP. He was 7th in NCAA Division I in strikeouts, right behind Ben Sheets (156) and right ahead of Barry Zito (154).

Dave Walling was selected by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 1999 amateur draft. He was assigned to the short-season Staten Island Yankees. He was named to the New York-Penn League post-season All-Star team that year winning right-handed pitching honors alongside Mike Nannini. Walling would win his first six pro decisions and go 7-0 at home for the Yankees, finishing with an overall record of 8-2. He was one win behind league leader Jairo Pineda, struck out 82 in 80 innings and was 10th in the league in ERA. Baseball America rated him the #6 prospect in the league, between Nannini and J.R. House.

In 2000 Walling moved up to the Tampa Yankees and made nine starts going 7-2 with a 1.98 ERA and held hitters to a .220 batting average. He was then promoted to finish the season with the AA Norwich Navigators. He would struggle in Norwich, going 3-9 with a 5.29 ERA. In 2001, Walling continued to struggle as he only made 10 starts, going 4-4 with an ERA at 5.40. Walling split the year between Tampa, Norwich and the Columbus Clippers. In May he left the Navigators to go back home to deal with "personal issues". During the season he developed a compulsion to throw repeatedly to first base whenever a runner was on.

Despite these problems the Yankees were high enough on Walling to invite him to major league spring training in 2002. He pitched well enough giving up 2 runs in 6.1 innings of work. He was assigned to Columbus to start the season. But once again his compulsion plagued him and he left the team in June. After seeing a sports psychologist and not seeing any improvement Walling decided to take some time away from the game. He has yet to return.

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