The Cardinals' prized rookie, Jordan Walker should be a fixture in the field for at least the next six years. Given the unprecedented contract handed out to Jackson Chourio, St. Louis fans could become very familiar with the now-sophomore, Jordan Walker.
Walker's rookie season was a bit of a rollercoaster. He was able to start the season off in St. Louis after a strong performance in Spring Training. He started off the season with a hitting streak that hadn't been done in decades, and he was one of the few exciting aspects of a team that got off to a very slow start.
John Mozeliak sent Jordan Walker down to AAA in May to work on his defense and clear up the outfield logjam. He was called back up to the majors just twenty games later, and he stayed in St. Louis for the remainder of the season. Walker ended the year with sixteen home runs, fifty-one runs batted in, and seven stolen bases to go along with a triple slash of .276/.342/.445 and an OPS+ of 114.
Despite those eye-popping offensive numbers as a rookie, Walker still had a negative bWAR total (-0.1) due to his lackluster defense. He is working with famed Cardinal outfielder Willie McGee to improve his defense, and reports have been positive. His arm strength is off the charts, but his range and route-taking could use some improvement, particularly when moving laterally.
Walker's age, offensive ceiling, and work ethic are unmatched, and he is more than likely untouchable in trades this offseason. Mozeliak would be wise to extend a multi-year contract to Walker, perhaps eight or nine years in length.