After returning from the Futures Game, Jordan Walker flaunted what took him to Los Angeles.
“Something just clicked today,” said Walker. “Sometimes you just have these good days and bad days and today just happened to be good. These guys are really good pitchers and throw really hard. So I was looking for fastballs, and I got them and just happened to hit them out.”
After flying out to left in the first inning, the 20-year old went back to back with No. 4 Cardinals prospect Masyn Winn and swatted an opposite field home run in the third inning. Walker waited until the sixth inning to strike again and pull another long ball to right for a two-run go-ahead drive. He capped off his night with an RBI single in the seventh.
“It's a nice feeling, but it's a feeling for tonight,” said Walker. “I can enjoy tonight but really not think too much about it. Because when I start thinking with that whole mindset I kind of get out of the usual way I play. I’m more that type of guy who just lets homers come. I'm trying not to think too much about it and get too big and start over-swinging. I'm just gonna enjoy it for the night but probably try to keep it simple the rest of the season and just make contact with the ball.”
Walker’s ability to make contact has shined the entirety of the season. Prior to Friday's game, the third basemen teetered around .300 and tallied 90 hits. He entered the game going 8-for-20 since the break and his last home run came the game prior on July 14.
While Walker played a standout game, he wasn’t able to deliver a phenomenal game without help from his teammates.
“Masyn hits right in front of me and he's pitched similarly to the way I’m pitched to,” said the 2020 first-round pick. “It's really nice to see him in front of me and see what he gets, what sequences they do, and where they're trying to go. Then kind of have an idea of what they're gonna throw to me at the plate and it just helps me hit. So I feel like he has good at-bats and Mike Antico has good at-bats and just watching them really helps me create a pattern in the box and create a good mindset about attack.”
Beyond going back-to-back with Walker, Winn also dazzled with his own performance. MLB.com's No. 88 overall prospect went 4-for-5, with three singles alongside his home run, and swiped two bags. He follows a three-hit performance from the previous game, where he fell just a triple shy of the cycle.
“Our energy feeds off each other,” said Walker. “I don’t know what I would do without him. Mason is the one that brings all that energy. He's a really loud person, but really energetic. He brings everybody's spirits up, and when our team spirit’s up, I feel like we're one of the best teams in the world.”
Since joining Springfield, Winn’s posted a .279/.348/.467 line, tallied eight home runs, and stolen 13 bases, just behind Walker's team-leading 15 swiped bags.