Is Jordan Walker the St. Louis Cardinals Next Leadoff Hitter?

Jordan Walker, of the Springfield Cardinals, during opening day at Hammons Field on Friday, April 8, 2022.Openingday0663
Jordan Walker, of the Springfield Cardinals, during opening day at Hammons Field on Friday, April 8, 2022.Openingday0663 /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
Jordan Walker, of the Springfield Cardinals, rides in a truck during opening day at Hammons Field on Friday, April 8, 2022.Openingday0227
Jordan Walker, of the Springfield Cardinals, rides in a truck during opening day at Hammons Field on Friday, April 8, 2022.Openingday0227 /

How Jordan Walker compares to other lead-off options

While the lead-off spot has been a point of frustration for St. Louis, but a deeper look at the numbers suggests that the glaring weakness is more so against right-handed pitching. Here is how Walker’s splits against righties compares to the rest of the St. Louis lead-off options.

Jordan Walker: 288 AB, .313/.395/.531,13 HR, and 38 RBI

Dylan Carlson:  292 AB, .213/.291/.353, 5 HR, 26 RBI

Tommy Edman: 352 AB, .249/.319/.357, 6 HR, 29 RBI

Lars Nootbaar: 120 AB, .233/.347/.435, 4 HR, 17 RBI

Brendan Donovan, 306 AB, .286/.399/.377, 2 HR,  26 RBI

It is already clear Walker’s numbers, even in AA, are in a different class than the other lead-off options on this Cardinals roster. Donavan is the lone player with an OBP that is comparable to Walker, and all of the top of the lineup options lack any power vs. right-handed pitching.

Walker dominates left-handed pitching as well, making him the kind of player who could be penciled in batting first on an everyday basis, with Goldschmidt and Arenado batting 3rd and 4th and the rest of the lineup being constructed to matchup however needed.

Walker’s transition to the outfield now gives St. Louis a ton of flexibility for this lineup as well. Walker should be able to play third base, any of the outfield spots, DH, and potentially even see time at first base. This makes lineup construction for manager Oli Marmol even more interesting, as he can maneuver the lineup around while maintaining Walker in a spot like lead-off each day.

Next. Pujols' doubles down on retirement. dark

Whether St. Louis makes the bold step of promoting Walker for the stretch run, or more likely, the slugger makes the 2023 roster, he may be able to provide St. Louis was an elite lead off option while they still have such a deep and powerful lineup. If Walker continues his trajectory, the sky is the limit with Walker at the top of this St. Louis lineup.

facebooktwitterreddit