Prediction #4 - Jordan Walker wins Rookie of the Year and receives MVP votes
Everyone knew I was going to have some kind of prediction about Jordan Walker. It's safe to say I see Walker being a huge success during his rookie season with St. Louis.
First of all, this is a prediction, not an expectation for the 20-year-old. Everything Walker gives the club this year is icing on the cake, and there could be no reason to place too much pressure on him. This is me saying that based on everything I've seen so far, I'm trusting that his talent and maturity will continue to blow all of our expectations away.
I would be shocked if Walker does not begin the year in St. Louis, and I would imagine he likely starts out hitting lower in the Cardinals' order, with the club leaning on their established talent to win games for them and letting Walker earn his way into a larger role. I do believe he will do enough to not only win Rookie of the Year honors but also receive some MVP votes.
Mini-prediction in here, I'd be shocked if one of Walker, Nootbaar, or O'Neill doesn't receive any MVP votes. I am extremely high on this Cardinals' offense this year, and I could easily see one of those three joining Arenado and Goldschmidt with receiving votes. But my bet is Walker, who by season's end, I see as their two-hole hitter and having a Julio Rodriguez-like rise within the national media.
In all honestly, MVP votes aren't that crazy to come by. Last season, Yandy Diaz and Sean Murphy received votes in the American League, and the likes of Jeff McNeil, Daniel Bard, and Starling Marte got votes in the National League. I'm not predicting Walker even finishes top 10 in that voting, but I am saying I believe he finds a vote or two this year.