ESPN ranks two St. Louis Cardinals in baseball’s top-20 prospects, with Jordan Walker ranking ahead of Nolan Gorman.
At this point, it’s pretty well established that the St. Louis Cardinals have two, perhaps three, of baseball’s top prospects in Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore. There is debate whether Gorman or Walker are first, which is a good problem for the Cardinals to have.
But both Walker and Gorman rank in the top-20 of ESPN’s prospect rankings, with Walker coming in at No. 17 while Gorman is No. 18. The analysis, done by Kiley McDaniel, can be read here, and comes with player comparisons for both players that are sure to tantalize Cardinals fans.
Walker, 19, has a chance to be the top prospect in baseball by 2023. His offensive potential is through the roof and is exactly why the Cardinals bet on him with the No. 21 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. His raw power is what has long intrigued scouts, with McDaniel ranking it a 70/70, and there is a very real chance that he would have been a top-10, if not top-5 pick, had he waited to enter the draft.
Alas, Walker decided to enter the draft early, and the Cardinals are going to benefit from it in the long haul, though questions continue to swirl where he will play defensively.
Gorman, meanwhile, has 30-plus homer potential and will debut at some point in 2022. He’s considered a relatively can’t-miss prospect by evaluators and his defensive position is much more straightforward. With Nolan Arenado at third base, Gorman will slide in at second base/designated hitter, though he’s considered average at the position having taken it up in the spring of 2021.
Both players are going to be prominent parts of the Cardinals’ future. For Gorman, that will come in 2022, while Walker will debut at some point in 2023 – or perhaps a little later, considering he will only be 20-21 years old at that point.
But those two, combined with the talent currently on the major-league roster, are why the Cardinals short- and long-term outlook are so promising.