In the first installment, we have Wisconsin native and baseball standout Dan Gulbransen writing about his fellow cheese state teammate Adam Brett Walker II. Learn about what he did over the summer, his goals for 2012 and how he has made the transition into being so far from home.
Walker II and the Dolphins Ready to Turn It Around
By: Dan Gulbransen
He has quickly become one of the most decorated athletes to play at Jacksonville University. A Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2010, first team All-American by Perfect Game USA in 2011 and the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year are only a few of numerous awards and accolades that Adam Brett Walker II has earned while on campus.
Leading the Atlantic Sun Conference last season in batting average, hits, and doubles, as well as the Dolphins in runs scored, total bases, slugging percentage, RBI and home runs, Adam put in a memorable 2011 season.
Following his great spring season for the Dolphins, Adam took his talents to Hyannis, Mass., to play for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the premier summer league for America’s best young talent. Even playing with the best of the best, Adam was still head and shoulders over many of the other players. He represented the Harbor Hawks in the Cape’s Home Run Derby and put in a solid performance depositing baseballs over the Green Monster at the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park.
The 2012 squad has gotten out to a slow start this year with a 2-6 record overall, but the team as a whole is optimistic that things will get turned around and will be playing winning baseball very shortly. It’s still very early in the season and a lot can be done to get things headed in the right direction for the 2012 Dolphins.
“I am hoping to build off of my last season,” Adam said on his goals for 2012. “I did well, but there is still room for improvement. I want to do my best to help this team win a regional.”
More specifically, he is looking to show more patience at the plate and take advantage of positive counts – situations where the batter is ahead in the pitching count and can be more selective. Having a player like Adam Brett Walker II in the middle of the Dolphin lineup, the complexion of the game can change in as little as one swing.
Since coming from high school, “I feel bigger and stronger,” Adam said, “I’ve put in a lot of work to make my swing better. I’ve learned a lot about the game as well.”
What makes Adam such a special talent on the baseball field cannot fully attest to his character.
The transition for many people from high school to college can be tough. The freedom that accompanies the college lifestyle can make it hard for anyone to keep their priorities straight. It’s obvious that Adam has been able to distinguish himself as a premier college player on the field, but the commitment and discipline he’s displayed off the field, in the weight room and classroom, truly make him a special young man.
“I feel just being away from home has helped me because I’ve had to live on my own to a degree, making decisions for myself and maturing as a person,” the Milwaukee, Wis. , native said.
Always having been a laid back person and a great friend makes Adam a very easy person to get along with.
“Being at JU the past three years has been a life-changing experience. I have great friends, coaches, and teachers. Everything I’ve done here has changed my life. I’ve grown a lot in all aspects of life since I’ve been here and wouldn’t have changed anything.”
As grateful as Adam is for his experiences at JU so far, he is even more eager to get this season turned around. Whenever Adam steps into the box, he is coming into an at bat that could be part of another record-breaking season, one that could etch his name higher into the JU record books and propel him into a career in professional baseball.
Only time will tell.