If Jordan Walker is for real, the St. Louis Cardinals are now World Series contenders
If the Jordan Walker we are seeing in Spring Training is who the club is getting this season, they can compete with anyone in baseball
The St. Louis Cardinals have question marks, mainly surrounding their starting pitching. But let's be honest, those questions become less daunting when you have as good of a lineup as they do. And if Jordan Walker's Spring Training is a sign of things to come, they have put themselves in the conversation with the best teams in baseball.
Yes, I get it, it's only Spring Training. And yes, there is no need to put that much pressure on a 20-year-old. The best part about this is that the Cardinals' are not expecting Walker to be 2023's Julio Rodriguez, nor do they need him to be. The Cardinals have plenty of outfield and lineup depth to be patient with Walker, but they are giving him every chance to establish himself as a superstar.
At the time of writing this, Walker is slashing .500/.500/1.167 with 3 HR, 3 2B, and 6 RBI in his first 18 ABs of Spring Training. Small sample size, of course, but every time this kid comes to the plate right now, it feels like something magical happens. In Saturday's game against the Nationals, Walker went 4-4 with 2 bombs, a double, and an infield single where he showed off his hustle and speed.
Just watch his highlights so far. The stadium roars, the dugouts watch in amazement, and everyone realizes they are watching something special. Just ask Marlins' manager Skip Schumaker, who said Walker reminds him of Fernando Tatis Jr. Yes, too many Cardinals' prospects have been overhyped, rushed, or expected too much of too early on. But Walker is different.
Here are each of the reasons I believe St. Louis is now a World Series contender if Walker is going to be a star this coming season.