5 Cardinals players most likely to have a breakout season in 2023
By Eric Treuden
I realize by now this may seem like a cheap answer, but Walker truly does seem to be on the cusp of greatness for this Cardinals team. The 20-year-old (!!!) made the Opening Day roster thanks to an otherworldly showing in Triple-A last year and an impressive Spring Training this year.
For Memphis in 2022, Walker hit 31 doubles and 19 home runs with 100 runs scored, 68 runs batted in 22 stolen bases, and a cool .306 average. Such advanced skills at the plate don't come around often by someone who is still such a young player.
The top-rated prospect in the Cardinals system and No. 4 in all of baseball, Walker turned in a strong showing in 20 spring games. He recorded 18 hits in 65 at-bats (.277 average) while hitting three home runs with nine RBI as well. This forced the Cardinals to bring him aboard to open the regular season, and it's been a great decision so far for the club.
Through Walker's first four big league games, he has five hits in 16 at-bats (.313) with a double and three runs batted in. Notably, he has struck out just one time so far after going down on Ks 15 times in spring. This improved patience at the plate, paired with his knack for swinging hard and often, has paid off in a big way to start the year. His 2023 NL Rookie of the Year campaign is going well so far and he truly has the capability to do big things this season.