Dodgers News: Zach Walters Credits Oklahoma City Hitting Coach Shawn Wooten For New-Found Success
Dodgers News: Zach Walters Credits Oklahoma City Hitting Coach Shawn Wooten For New-found Success
Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ bad fortune with injuries in the first half of the season already made its way over to the unofficial second half as Trayce Thompson was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to back pain.

To take his place on the active roster, the Dodgers called up utility man Zach Walters from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Los Angeles acquired Walters, along with James Ramsey, from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for cash considerations in April.

Walters had spent part of four seasons in the Majors with the Indians and Washington Nationals and has compiled a slash line of .182/.233/.394 in that span.

While he’s yet to find sustained success at the big league level, Walters may have found his stride in Oklahoma City. The change of scenery proved to be beneficial for Walters as he’s hit .298/.346/.491 with 15 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 77 games for OKC.

He has attributed his new-found success to the harsh but constructive criticism from OKC hitting coach Shawn Wooten, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

“It’s the hitting coach (in OKC), Shawn Wooten,” said Walters, who was acquired by the Dodgers in April. “He just kind of made fun of me that I was raw and had no idea how to repeat a swing. Then he kind of worked with me mechanically and I have an idea of what I’m doing now. Consistency is the name of the game and that’s kind of where I’ve been the last four or five weeks, pretty consistent.”

Walters was particularly hot since the beginning of June as he hit .349 with a .984 on-base plus slugging percentage, 11 doubles, seven home runs, 28 RBIs in 39 games. What’s more, he’s been efficient against lefties, batting .313/.364/.538 with nine doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 217 plate appearances.

Walters entered as a pinch-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, and started Sunday’s series finale. He went a combined 0-for-4 with one strikeout over the two games. He presumably will be optioned back to Oklahoma City on Tuesday as the Dodgers are expected to activate Joc Pederson from the disabled list.