Cardinals Top Prospect Having "Outrageous" Spring In Strong Bid To Make Team

He came into the spring as the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball, but at 20 years old, he wasn't guaranteed to break camp with the St. Louis Cardinals. With the spring Jordan Walker is having, however, it appears that nothing can stop his bid for a major league job.

Walker went 4-for-4 with two mammoth home runs—one of them said to have traveled 470 feet— and a double on Saturday, to bring his Grapefruit League OPS to a ridiculous 1.667. He has nine hits in 18 at-bats, three home runs, three doubles and, as noted by Cardinals beat writer John Denton, "countless oohs and ahhhhs."

Fellow Cards Insider Derrick Goold of St. Louis Today called Walker's performance thus far "outrageous."

Cards manager Oliver Marmol realizes that Walker isn't about to take 'no' for an answer when it comes to making the team this spring. “Sometimes players force your hand, and that’s a beautiful thing,” Marmol said. “I love the mentality of a player coming in, and his objective is to do exactly that [force his way onto the Opening Day roster].

“I don’t know what the tipping point is, but he’s continuing to show he’s capable,” Marmol said. “We went into this camp saying there is going to be real competition and that’s what he is making this -- a real competition. He’s come in ready, and I’m enjoying watching it.”

With an other-worldly power/speed combination, Walker was the Cards' first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2020 MLB Draft. He tore up A-Ball in 2021, and did the same in Double-A last season, hitting .306 with 19 HR, 22 SBs, 100 runs scored and an .898 OPS. 

Cardinals' outfield incumbents Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson appear to be in for the fight of their lives to try and retain a starting OF spot this season.

Photo: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports