Who is Jordan Walker?

March 31st, 2023

With his 6-foot-5 frame, Cardinals outfield/third base prospect is hard to miss. Of course, Walker’s tools have done just as much in helping him stand out. The 20-year-old from Georgia is a skilled hitter, a power threat and so much more. Here’s what to know about MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 prospect, who made the Cardinals' roster out of Spring Training and recorded his first Major League hit and RBI on Opening Day.

MLB organization: Cardinals
Birthdate: May 22, 2002 (Age 20; 2023 is his age-21 season)
Primary position: OF
Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 220 lbs.
Bats/throws: Right/right
Hometown: Stone Mountain, Ga.
School(s): Decatur (Ga.) HS
Drafted: First round, 21st overall, 2020 (by STL)
MLB Debut: March 30, 2023

From Decatur to the Draft

The Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year at Decatur High School as a senior, Walker played just 16 games in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, hitting .457 with four home runs. He hit 17 homers during his junior season, in which he batted .519.

Walker signed to play baseball at Duke before being selected 21st overall in the first round of the 2020 Draft. The first Decatur player to go in the first round, he signed with the Cardinals for a $2.9 million bonus. Walker is part of a standout St. Louis Draft class; with their second, third and fourth picks that year, the Cardinals took Masyn Winn (MLB Pipeline’s No. 50 prospect), Tink Hence (No. 77) and Alec Burleson (No. 91).

“We hype each other up,” Walker told FOX 2 News. “We love seeing each other do well.”

Starring in spring

In just his second Spring Training game in 2023, Walker made a loud impact, slugging a 430-foot, three-run home run against the Marlins. Less than a week later, he made an even bigger splash. Against the Nationals on March 4, Walker went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double.

Major League Spring Training is a new level of competition, but the level of production is nothing new for Walker. He batted over .300 in both of his Minor League seasons, slugging .525 over that stretch. Walker spent 2022 with Double-A Springfield, hitting 19 home runs and posting 68 RBIs in 119 games.

A six-tool player?

Walker’s ability to hit for contact and power is well documented. He has a long, easy swing that results in hard contact; he posted the top four exit velocities in the Arizona Fall League in 2022. But his best attribute might be something else entirely.

According to MLB Pipeline, Walker’s throwing arm received the best grade of any of his five tools. He touched 99.5 mph on a throw in Arizona and profiles as a capable corner outfielder. In all five categories -- including baserunning and fielding -- Walker grades out as average or better.

“The way he catches a barrel, the way he fields, the way he throws and runs, he’s the complete package,” Winn said of Walker. “Five tools? They’ve got to make a sixth tool for him.”

Just ‘having a good time’

The secret to Walker’s success? Not taking anything too seriously.

“It’s all fun, to be honest,” Walker told FanGraphs. “I feel like competing is having a good time.”

Whether he’s making tough catches at the wall look easy, dominating the Grapefruit League or lining hits off Gerrit Cole, Walker has shown his prodigious talent at every turn. All while enjoying the journey.

“I’m competing to show what I can do here, and if I look at it as fun, I can stay relaxed,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”