3 players the St. Louis Cardinals failed or mishandled in recent years
By Eric Treuden
Jordan Walker, much like Juan Yepez before him, is already being shuffled back and forth between the major and minor leagues. After cracking the Opening Day roster at just 20 years old, it seemed like the next wave of prospect talent was finally going to be excelling in the bigs.
After just 20 games, the Cardinals made the semi-surprising move to option Walker to Triple-A. Prior to his demotion, he had been hitting fairly well, mashing two home runs with eight runs scored, 11 runs driven in, a .274 batting average, and an OPS+ of 98. Sure, the OPS+ suggests he was two percent below league average, but to have this early production at 20 is extremely impressive.
It's unclear at this stage if his early-season demotion will have any long-term effects (it likely will not), but for what it's worth, Walker has struggled mightily since he was forced to pack his bags and report to Triple-A Memphis. In five games (an extremely small sample size), he is just 3-for-19, with a home run, which comes out to a .158 batting average and .589 OPS. Again, this is such a small sample size and it's to be taken with a major grain of salt, but for someone who seemed to be doing well in the majors, this is a bit puzzling.
Just last year, the team's top prospect tore up opposing pitching in Double-A Springfield, which is what put his name on everyone's radar, to begin with. In 119 games, he hit 31 doubles and 19 home runs, scoring 100 runs and driving in 68 of his own. He even showed off some wheels on the bases, stealing 22 bags.
Walker should not have any issues making it back to The Show. Hopefully, his next promotion will be a permanent one and he can avoid being stuck in limbo like Yepez has been for years.