When I was on the PitcherList On The Farm podcast (OTF 38) in September, 2022, I was asked who could be the #1 prospect in 2023. I said it would probably be a guy named Jordan. Meet the first of them, Jordan Walker.
- Born: May 2, 2002
- B/T: R/R
- 6’5″, 220-lbs
- Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft from Decatur High School (Decatur, GA).
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
As a 19-year-old out of high school, Walker began 2021 at A-ball. But two-thirds of his season was spent at High-A once the lower level proved no match for him whatsoever. At High-A he didn’t have such gaudy numbers, but he still had power, got on base, really began using his speed, and even his strikeout and walk rates weren’t that bad.
He spent all of 2022 at Double-A, and we see he adjusted to this higher level nicely. He improved every single metric other than speed (which is more about opportunity). He did so well, he clearly will start 2023 at Triple-A and should be in the majors later in the season.
His power at Springfield, IL didn’t show up in April (cold weather for a Georgia kid is not welcome, I’m sure), but by May he was smacking the ball with power, ad by June he was grooving along. That power remained in place all year long (32.8% for his Hard Hit Rate, which is very, very good). The speed was there when needed. He drew walks, and he never struck out too much.
Look at the video above and notice how simple his swing is. That’s not always the case with these big guys, but for Walker a simple swing leads to a good batting eye making contact.
Handedness K% and BB%
AA (vs RH): 23%K and 10%BB. (vs LH): 17%K and 13%BB.
Against righties he shows great bat discipline. Against lefties he’s a superstar. Against both he got on base and had great power. No platoon bat tendencies here.
When your worst month of the year saw you getting on base at a .342 clip, there’s not much to say.
He tackled Double-A just fine. Unless he falters at Triple-A, the Cardinals will have a Rookie of the Year candidate soon.