Cardinals' top prospect Walker makes Opening Day roster
Jordan Walker is heading north with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced Saturday that Walker, the organization's top prospect, made the team's Opening Day roster following a stellar performance in spring training, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
St. Louis still needs to officially add Walker to the 40-man roster, which it'll complete in the next few days. The team has to clear a spot before he's selected.
Walker, who's yet to play above Double-A, has rocketed through the Cardinals' system after being chosen 21st overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. The 20-year-old opened plenty of eyes at Double-A Springfield last year when he hit .306/.388/.510 with 19 homers, 68 RBIs, 31 doubles, and 22 stolen bases across 119 games. He followed that up by posting a .925 OPS in the Arizona Fall League.
The Georgia native secured his spot in the majors by slashing .286/.308/.508 with three homers and nine RBIs in Grapefruit League action this March.
Walker, ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com, has played both third base and the outfield during his minor-league career. He'll likely see time at all three outfield spots in the majors and at DH. If he's in the lineup on March 30, Walker will be the first Cardinals player to start on Opening Day before turning 21 since Howard Freigau in 1923, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Infielder Taylor Motter also made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster, the team announced. Motter was selected to the 40-man roster Saturday, while the team optioned Genesis Cabrera, JoJo Romero, and Juan Yepez to Triple-A Memphis.
The Cardinals open their 2023 season on Thursday at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.