Jordan Walker's ceiling is too high for the Cardinals to trade him away
Jordan Walker is the number-one prospect in all of baseball right now. That is a big deal. The Cardinals have had top prospects like Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson in recent years, but Walker is in a class of his own from a talent evaluation perspective.
Walker projects to be a true five-tool player for the Cardinals. He has already shown himself to be a very advanced hitter for his age. Walker hits the ball extremally hard and should hit a lot of doubles and home runs once his swing is refined. His speed is among some of the best in the game, giving him an advantage on the field and on the base paths. He has one of the strongest arms we have seen in a while, and while his defense was a low point this year, he is just now learning how to play the outfield and should be an above-average defender, at least, in the next few years.
Walker just turned 21 years old the other day. Most players his age do not even sniff the big leagues, even if they are top prospects. There is a reason Walker was able to fast track his way to St. Louis, the Cardinals see legitimate superstar potential in him.
You don't give up on a young talent like that, and that talent is far too valuable to part with in a trade, even for a need as big as front-line pitching. Yes, the Cardinals' chances of winning a World Series in 2023 may be significantly boosted by the acquisition of an ace, but the long-term future of the club is in much better hands if they hold onto Walker and find another way to address that issue.
The positional fit of Walker is also a huge reason you hold onto him, which I'll talk about next.