After signing some later-round picks first, the St. Louis Cardinals have signed their first-round selection, Jordan Walker.
After this year’s shortened five-round draft, the St. Louis Cardinals had just seven picks to work on signing.
On Tuesday, the Cardinals announced via Zoom call that they had come to terms with their first selection, Jordan Walker.
Walker was drafted 21st overall out of Decatur High School in Georgia. As most early picks do before they sign, Walker visited St. Louis with his family to complete a physical before signing. We didn’t get to see Walker take batting practice at Busch or to show him how the crowds usually are here, but the 6-5 slugger was able to get a taste of what hopefully will become his future home stadium.
The slot value for the 21st overall pick was $3,132,300 but the Cardinals were able to persuade Walker away from a commitment to Duke for $2.9M. Personally, I’m surprised the team was able to sign him for under slot value, but a $200k saving isn’t super notable in this instance. The team has now signed all but three of their picks.
The only picks left unsigned are Masyn Winn (2nd round), Markevian Hence (2nd round), and Ian Bedell (they have a deal in place but it is not yet official).
It’s going to be very sad to not be able to see how Walker starts his professional career, but signing him was the first step.
Walker has a ton of power and while he pitched some in high school, his money will be made with his bat. He was an unexpected pick at 21, but the more we learn about the 18-year-old, the more the pick makes sense. He’s athletic, he’s intelligent, he’s a hard worker. He’s a perfect fit for the profile of what the Cardinals excel at developing.
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Walker was the biggest fish that the Cardinals needed to catch in this post-draft signing period, but I would assume that with all of the under slot signings the Cardinals are making, the last two high schoolers who need to be signed will require some extra cash. Either way, the Cards are setting themselves up well.