At 23, Luken Baker is a big kid with a big bat. He will be a fun guy to watch this spring as he continues to develop in the St. Louis Cardinals system.
As a right-handed first baseman, Luken Baker has nothing but time to develop and get better in the minor leagues. However, Baker was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year for the St. Louis Cardinals. So while he is with the club, he should be entertaining to watch.
Baker was first drafted out of Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas, by the Houston Astros in the 37th round of the MLB Amateur Draft in 2015. Instead of going to the majors, he went to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to Baseball Reference, Baker played three seasons at TCU where he hit .347/.465/.561 with 28 home runs and 129 RBI. He had a 1.026 OPS.
Check out this video of Baker hitting a game-winning three-run homer for TCU in the 2016 College World Series. The kid can hit. So it’s no surprise that he was drafted by the Cardinals in 2018 in the second round.
Since entering the Cardinals system, Baker has hit .264/.343/.409 with 14 homers and 75 RBI.
This video shows a big homer from Baker in a playoff game for Low-A Peoria in 2018.
At 6’4″ and 280 lbs, Baker played 122 games for High-A Palm Beach in 2019. During the spring of 2020, he did get a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Due to COVID-19 throwing the baseball world upside down, Baker did not see any playing time in 2020.
Instead of playing ball, Baker was settling down. According to his Instagram, Baker was engaged to and married his long-time girlfriend.
While he is experienced at first base and as a designated hitter, it’s safe to say Baker will have plenty of time to work on his skills. Paul Goldschmidt looks to occupy the first base position for several years to come. And, there are only rumors at this time that the league could have a universal DH.
Now that Baker is back to business in the baseball world, it will be interesting to see how he dusts off the rust of being away from the game for a year.
It may be a while before we see him with the big club, so watch this young man dominate in the minors. I really look forward to seeing him get some at-bats during some games this spring and just mash.