Greg Walker is in his second season as the Braves' hitting coach in 2013. He previously served as the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox for eight-and-a-half seasons, from May 2003 through the 2011 season. He also worked as the hitting coach for Chicago's Triple-A Charlotte affiliate in 2002 and '03.
Walker's presence was immediately felt in 2012, as Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had a resurgent campaign after playing through an injury-plagued sophomore season in 2011. Heyward played in a team-high 158 games and posted career highs in runs (93), doubles (30), home runs (27) and RBI (82), while also swiping a career-best 21 bases.
From the time of his promotion in 2003 through 2011, the White Sox ranked third in the majors in home runs (1,791) and seventh in slugging percentage (.430). The Sox hit 200-plus home runs in seven consecutive seasons from 2000-06, which tied the Major-League record (and was later broken by the Yankees, 2000-07).
In his first full season in 2004, the White Sox hit a franchise-record 242 home runs. In their World Championship season of 2005, the Sox ranked fourth in the American League with 200 home runs, but still led the league in sacrifice hits (53) and bunt hits (37) and ranked third in infield hits (156).
Walker was a member of the American League All-Star coaching staff in 2006, when the Sox led the majors in home runs (236), slugging percentage (.464) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.307), while ranking third in runs scored (868) and fifth in overall batting average (.280). The 2006 Sox also featured four players with 30-or-more home runs, making them just the third team in A.L. history to accomplish that feat.
Under Walker's guidance, the Sox again led the majors in home runs in 2008, with 235.
As a player, Walker posted a .260 career batting average with 113 home runs and 444 RBI in 855 games over a nine-year career (1982-90) with the White Sox and Baltimore Orioles. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1977 and was later chosen by the White Sox in the Rule 5 Draft in 1979.
Walker made his Major League debut with a pinch-hit single on September 16, 1982. In 1984 he posted a career-high .294 batting average, with 24 home runs and 75 RBI, followed by 24 homers and 92 RBI in 1985. He established career highs of 27 home runs and 94 RBI in 1987.
He led the A.L. in games played (163) in 1985 and annually ranked among the league leaders in fielding percentage by first basemen. On July 30, 1988, he suffered a life-threatening seizure during batting practice and missed the rest of the season. He returned to play in 77 games in 1989.
Walker was the White Sox 1986 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award and he received the Chicago Baseball Writers' "Good Guy" Award at their January 1990 Diamond Dinner.
Walker is a native of Douglas, Ga., and still makes his home there with his wife Carman. They have three daughters: Kaycee, Leigh Ann and Lauren. He played baseball and football at Coffee High School. He enjoys golf, hunting and fishing.