New team, same Jordan: Walker crushes first Triple-A homer

April 29th, 2023

Twenty-three days after mashing his first big league homer, Jordan Walker has finally connected for his first jack in Triple-A.

After swatting three big flies and posting a .792 OPS in the spring, the No. 2 overall prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline earned himself a spot on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster, before even playing an inning with Triple-A Memphis.

Walker showed he deserved to be in the Majors, but he posed a problem for St. Louis -- they had too many talented players and not enough spots to play them.

Even so, Walker made the team, played consistently in the outfield and dazzled at the dish. He tied an MLB record with 12 consecutive games where he recorded a hit to start his career, hit his first MLB homer on April 5 and added his second just three days later.

Despite the early success, the No. 1 Cardinals prospect has scuffled at the plate in recent weeks and was ultimately sent down to Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday to work on his craft.

Which brings us back to Friday night. Walker was playing in his second career game with the Redbirds, and he did what he does best: drill pitchers' mistakes.

The Georgia native gave Memphis an early lead over Durham, but after a lengthy weather delay, the Redbirds came up short, 6-4.

Walker is a pure hitter with unquestioned strength, but he was not showing his 65-grade power in the Majors consistently, producing a .397 slugging percentage in 73 at-bats.

Another big reason for the demotion was the inconsistent playing time that Walker had started to get with the big league club. The 2020 first-round pick played in just four games since April 17, having to split time with Cards' promising young outfielders Tyler O'Neill, Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson and Alec Burleson.

The inconsistent opportunities looked to do more harm than good, and Walker ended up in the Minors.

Even with Walker finishing 1-for-4 on the night, all signs point to the consistent play in Memphis working wonders for the highly regarded prospect. If he produces like he has in the past, it's going to be hard to hold down a talent like that for long.