Jordan Walker spring training stats: How STL Cardinals prospect could force way onto roster


AMARILLO, TEXAS - AUGUST 12: Infielder Jordan Walker #22 of the Springfield Cardinals bats during the game against the Amarillo Sod Poodles at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 12, 2022 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

AMARILLO, TEXAS – AUGUST 12: Infielder Jordan Walker #22 of the Springfield Cardinals bats during the game against the Amarillo Sod Poodles at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 12, 2022 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Cards prospect Jordan Walker was already a highly touted prospect, but is there a chance he can exceed all expectations and crack the roster?

The 21st pick in the MLB amateur draft, Jordan Walker of Decatur High School in Georgia, has been a prospect on many scouts’ radars.

He sits at No. 4 on’s ‘Top 100 Baseball Prospects’ but with the spring training he is having right now, his stock could be boosted even higher.

Jordan Walker spring training stats

Thus far through seven games and 21 at-bats this spring, Walker has been on base at a clip of .429 with a slugging percentage of 1.000 and a 1.429 OPS. For counting, he has six extra-base hits in nine total hits including three home runs.

The highlight of it all was a 430-foot sky-high missile off of Marlins veteran Johnny Cueto. Two of the home runs were hit on pitchers with top-of-the-line talent in Nationals flamethrower Cade Cavalli and MLB veteran Chad Kuhl.

One of the variables we take with a grain of salt when analyzing position players in Spring Training is the amount of Major League talent seen. Sometimes towards the later innings of spring training games, there are lower-level (A, AA) pitchers that usually are able to get in on the action.

However, Walker’s most impressive at-bats have come against Major League talent (though he did fall victim to Kodai Senga’s Ghost Fork). It is not something that happens with every AA prospect.

Walker, who played 119 games with AA Springfield Cardinals, has seen all major league pitching this spring. He has shown he is well capable of hitting at that level.

Although these stats are impressive, it is a considerably small sample size to determine if a prospect could crack a MLB roster, especially for a contending team like the Cardinals.

Jordan Walker’s minor league career

Throughout his minor league career, Walker has undoubtedly solidified himself as one of the top minor leaguers of recent memory. In 2022 with AA Springfield, he had a slash line of .306/.388/.510, according to Fangraphs stats. His OPS was at .898. His overall impact was shown in how many runs he created, showing off a wRC+ (weighted runs created+) at 98 runs.

Although he has an amazing amount of power, he does have a slight issue in rolling over pitches. Walker in 2022 had displayed a ground ball rate of 45.5 percent and a 55 percent rate in 2021. That 45 percent is slightly high for a top prospect and ground balls undoubtedly take away from a hard-hit ball.

His line drive rate is also a tad low at 23.2 percent. The average line drive rate is about 29 percent and the average ground ball rate is 44, according to the stats glossary that FanGraphs provides. However, we have seen Walker elevate quite a few baseballs this swing and it makes sense seeing how the GB/LD rates have both improved as he has moved up through the minors.

Having more elevation would increase his already high BABIP (BA on balls in play). His BABIP last year was at .365, which is a respectable number that would translate to Major League action.

Last December, Walker talked with David Laurila in an article for FanGraphs blogs, explaining how he is as a hitter.

“I feel like I’m a guy who hits the ball hard. That’s pretty much what it is, man. I don’t really focus on too much other than that, just driving the ball to where it’s pitched. If it’s outside, I want to drive it the other way. If it’s middle-middle, I want to drive it up the middle. If it’s inside, I want to react and try to drive it into the left-center gap. That’s pretty much it. I keep it as simple as possible, not complicating too much stuff.”

Walker knows about the power he has, and he knows that he has to keep it simple. As the stats show, he also knows that his development is “mostly just more reps at the plate.”

Jordan Walker’s outlook for the Cardinals

It would be considered a bit of a long shot to see Walker break the Opening Day lineup for the Cardinals, but it wouldn’t be for a lack of a great performance.

The Cardinals are solidly built at all the positions where Walker would play — third base and the corner OF spots.

Nolan Arenado will certainly occupy 3B with Tyler O’Neill in left field, Dylan Carlson in center and a possible platoon of Brendan Donovan, Juan Yepez, and Lars Nootbar. Unless the Cardinals are willing to possibly move one of the three to open up a 40-man roster spot, it seems highly unlikely Walker cracks the roster.

However, he should start the season in AAA, so there is always a possibility of a call-up mid-season.

All fans of St. Louis baseball should be ready for Walker’s eventual welcome to the minor leagues, as you can expect him to be electric when he arrives at ‘The Lou’.