Cardinals’ top prospect homers twice, including one that sails over berm in left-center Cardinals News
9:03 PM UTC
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Though he’s still a rookie and hasn’t even played an MLB regular-season game yet, Jordan Walker‘s legend continues to grow one mammoth blast after another in Spring Training.
Already the owner of a projected 430-foot home run in Grapefruit League action, Walker put on another jaw-dropping power display in the Cardinals’ 9-6 win over the Nationals on Saturday when he hit a Josiah Gray fastball an estimated 460 to 470 feet for his second home run of Spring Training. Walker’s blast carried well over the 377-foot distance to left-center, and it also cleared the 50-foot berm beyond the wall. After bouncing onto a concrete walkway, Walker’s home run ball bounded up onto a concessions building that stands well beyond the batter’s eye.
Because The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is not wired with pitch-tracking devices, the distance of the home run was an estimate by Cardinals officials.
Walker made it a two-homer game with a line-drive shot to center in the seventh inning.
Walker, 20, is the No. 4-ranked prospect in baseball and the top prospect in the Cardinals’ system, per MLB Pipeline. Hitting second on Saturday, Walker showed off tremendous speed for a 6-foot-5, 250-pound slugger by beating out an infield single in his first at-bat of the day. After his first home run, Walker laced a liner into the left-center-field gap for a double in the fifth inning. He came around to score a couple of pitches later when fellow young Cardinals slugger Nolan Gorman hit a ball halfway up the grass berm in left-center for a two-run home run.
Walker hit leadoff for the Cardinals in Friday’s 8-3 defeat of the Marlins. He had an opposite-field single, and he laced a double down the third-base line. Walker also scored the Cardinals’ first run of the game by racing from second base and flopping into home with a head-first slide. The outfielder hit a top speed of 28.4 feet per second on the jaunt home, per Statcast. A measurement of 30 feet per second is considered elite by MLB standards.
“It’s one of those at-bats where you want to make sure you don’t miss it,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said before Saturday’s game when asked about the excitement that Walker has brought to Cardinals camp. “Just because, one, he’s a real hitter and, two, he’s got some real pop. So it’s exciting to see what he’s capable of doing from at-bat to at-bat.”
Marmol said he has been impressed with how Walker has handled hitting in different spots in the order, and while bouncing between left field and right field.
“First pitch of the game [on Friday] mimics any other of his swings where if he had squared it up, it would have gone a long way,” Marmol said. “My hope is that regardless of where he hits, there’s not a different approach. The leadoff man doesn’t necessarily need to see a ton of pitches or draw a walk or be a line-drive, ball-away guy. It’s just about him taking the same approach regardless of where he is [in the order].”