On Wednesday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners made a somewhat surprising move by trading long-time Minor League infielder Donovan Walton to the San Francisco Giants; in return, the Mariners received Prelander Berroa, a 22-year-old Single-A pitching prospect.
Donovan Walton (known for a stretch of time as simply “Donnie” Walton) was a 5th-round pick by the Mariners out of Oklahoma State University in 2016, where he put together a .337/.428/.447 slash line in his senior year. He began his pro career with Low-A Everett, then moved to High-A Modesto for the majority of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Walton was called up to Double-A Arkansas in mid-2018, but struggled to a .652 OPS by the end of the season. However, he played very well on a solid Arkansas team in 2019 (one that included Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Logan Gilbert) and was called up to Seattle at the end of the season while the lowly Mariners took time to examine some of their high-level prospects.
Although Donovan Walton made the leap directly from AA to MLB at the end of 2019, the majority of his career as a Mariner will be remembered for his time at Triple-A Tacoma, where he starred with a career slash line of .302/.391/.518 while becoming a Rainier fan favorite in the field.
At the major league level in Seattle, he never received consistent playing time and eventually finished with a career .575 OPS during his time with the team. Arguably his best moment came in a rivalry matchup vs the Athletics in May 2021, where he crushed his first major league home run (a 3-run shot) while helping lead the Mariners to victory.
Walton was a class act during his time in Seattle and will surely be missed; hopefully, the Giants will offer him a chance at consistent playing time and to show off what made him a 5th-round pick back in the 2016 draft.