- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
Walter Ibarra has been a minor league infielder.
Ibarra signed with the New York Yankees at age 17. He made his pro debut with the 2006 GCL Yankees, hitting .264/.376/.292. His 19 games at short led the team; he fielded .957 there. In 2007, he struggled offensively as a backup middle infielder for the Tampa Yankees (5 for 28, 2 BB, 2B) and GCL Yankees (8 for 39, 4 BB, 2 2B). The next year, the Los Mochis native struggled with the Charleston RiverDogs, hitting .198/.247/.319 in a utility role. Demoted to the Staten Island Yankees, he was 11 for 49 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and two walks. He then moved up to the Trenton Thunder, batting .268/.305/.375 in 18 games. He sprained his left ankle in late August and missed the rest of the season. That winter, he hit .188/.253/.188 in 37 games for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo.
In 2009, Ibarra produced at a .265/.294/.316 rate with 11 steals in 16 tries as Tampa's starting shortstop (fielding .955 there). He was also 7 for 29 with two walks for Charleston. Back with Hermosillo, he hit .250/.273/.266 as the backup to Jose Luis Sandoval. In the summer of 2010, Ibarra battled injuries to his hamstring, left hand and left shoulder but had his best season yet, hitting .301/.348/.370 for Tampa and going 15-for-22 in steal attempts. Among players with 70+ games, he was 5th in the Florida State League in average. He split the Hermosillo shortstop role with Sandoval in the winter, batting .303/.353/.387 with 30 runs in 56 games.
Walter batted .297/.333/.421 for Tampa in 2011. He led the FSL with 14 sacrifice hits and tied for the league lead with 8 sacrifice flies as well. He fielded .970 at short. The last addition to the Mexican national team roster for the 2011 Pan American Games, he was one of their top performers. He was 4 for 14 with a walk, hit-by-pitch, RBI and run on a team that hit just .217/.291/.280. He handled 32 chances error-free as their starting shortstop and turned five double plays. He was their top player in their 3-2 upset win over the Dominican Republic, producing two of their three runs. In the Bronze Medal game, he was again one of Mexico's stars, reaching base all 3 times up in a 6-0 loss to Cuba.
Ibarra hit .166/.213/.212 for Hermosillo in the winter of 2011-2012. He split 2012 between the Trenton Thunder (.276/.307/.417 in 44 G) and GCL Yankees (4 for 22, presumably on a rehab stint). He was somewhat better with the Naranjeros in 2012-2013 (.222/.263/.389). He was 0 for 2 for Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In the summer of '13, he appeared for Trenton (.312/.321/.403 in 20 G) and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (.254/.300/.344 in 38 G). He hit .192/.228/.256 in the winter for the Venados de Mazatlán. Moving to the Los Angeles Dodgers system, he spent most of 2014 as a backup middle infielder for the Albuquerque Isotopes, producing at a .269/.301/.346 clip; he was also 6 for 27 with two walks for the Chattanooga Lookouts. In 2014-2015, he had a strong winter for the Águilas de Mexicali, hitting .293/.328/.419. He reinforced the Tomateros de Culiacán for the 2015 Caribbean Series and was 3 for 13 with a walk, run and two RBI. His pinch-hit single off Livan Moinelo in the opener scored Issmael Salas with the winner. He scored the winner against the Santurce Crabbers as well.
He then played his first summer in his homeland, with the 2015 Monterrey Sultans; he hit .305/.336/.396 and fielded .992 at second base. He was third in the Mexican League with 18 sacrifice hits and stole 14 bases in 17 tries. With Mexicali in 2015-2016, he posted a .304/.340/.441 batting line with 15 doubles, 37 runs and 34 RBI in 63 games. He tied for 4th in the Mexican Pacific League in runs, tied Jesus Arredondo for fifth in doubles and missed the top 10 in RBI by one. He was Mexico's main second baseman in the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, going 2 for 6 with a double, run and two steals; only Gabriel Maciel and Leonardo Reginatto had more steals in any of the qualifiers that year. Mexico won a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Monterrey switched Ibarra back to short in 2016 and he had a fine year, batting .329/.365/.449 with 78 runs and 25 doubles while fielding .977 at SS. He was second in the LMB in runs, two behind Chris Roberson.