Jordan Walker has worked his way to the status of best corner-infield prospect among draft-eligible high school players. As a product of Decatur High School in Georgia, he proves to be a well-rounded person, balancing intelligence and athleticism. His parents are graduates of MIT and Harvard, and he was committed to play at Duke University.
It appears unlikely that he will honor his commitment to Duke. As the 33rd-ranked prospect, he could be a late first-round pick. He has great size at six-feet, five-inches tall, weighing 220 pounds.
Although Walker only played eight games in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic, he showed what he is capable of in 2019. He was named the Offensive Player of the Year for both his region and county as a junior. In that season, he hit .519 with 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 43 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases. He was selected to participate in several notable events that summer. Among them are the Perfect Game All-American Classic, the MLB High School All-Star Game, and the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Jordan Walker has the power and the arm to make an impact at the MLB level. His power tool is his best, and scouts grade it as a 60/80. Additionally, he generates easy bat speed and the leverage from his swing gives his power even more potential. His hit tool is not his strongest, but he does show a good enough ability to make adjustments, helping to tap into his power
Although Walker’s fielding tool is a 45/80 grade, scouts feel that he can stay at third base for the foreseeable future. If he were to not pan out at third base, he could make a transition to the outfield. He has the ability to hit 90 MPH as a pitcher. Therefore, his arm makes him a good candidate to play right field if he needs a position change.
Although Walker hit over .500 in 2019, his pure hitting ability to is the weakest part of his game. While he can make enough contact to for his power to play, he does compile a lot of swings and misses. His height generates a longer swing naturally, and he struggles with identifying breaking pitches.
Walker stole 24 bases in his junior season and produces solid speed thanks to his athleticism, but scouts expect him to lose a step at the next level. Walker can afford to add more muscle to his frame. Doing so would most likely result in losing a step on the bases and even in the field. That is why scouts grade both tools as 45/80 as well as why there are concerns about his long-term future as a third baseman.
An interesting comparison for Jordan Walker is current Chicago Cub Kris Bryant. Bryant and Walker are the same height and should be closer to the same weights once Walker matures physically. Bryant has remained as a third basemen primarily, but his versatility has led to him playing 21.4% of his career games in either right or left field.
Bryant also compiles a lot of swings and misses. He usually posts high strikeout numbers, and he has struck out in 23% of his career plate appearances. Regardless, he still makes enough contact to post good batting averages and tap into his power, similar to Walker, for a .516 career slugging percentage.
Jordan Walker has the tools to succeed in MLB. His power will play, especially as he matures physically, and he will be able to contribute defensively whether it is third base or the outfield.
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