Jordan Walker looked like a future star for the St. Louis Cardinals to begin the 2023 season. St. Louis' top prospect posted respectable numbers during his first few weeks in the big leagues, including recording a historic hit streak. Surprisingly, the Cardinals still opted to demote Walker in late April. Walker recently revealed what the Cardinals told him his goal was in the minor leagues, and discussed his struggles after the demotion, per Matt Infield.
“I was told to start hitting the ball in the air, and that kind of got to me a little bit,” Walker said. “About trying to force the ball in the air a little too much. I forced myself to do things that I usually don't do. Right now, I'm not too worried about getting the ball in the air more and I'm starting to drive the ball a lot better now.”
Cardinals' Jordan Walker drops truth bomb on situation
The Cardinals' future star then dropped a truth bomb on the situation.
“There's no point if I try to hit the ball in the air if I'm not hitting the ball at all,” Walker added.
Many teams are caught up in launch angle in today's MLB. Hitting the ball in the air obviously leads to advanced power numbers. Walker built up an impressive prospect pedigree by swinging the bat a certain way, and deciding to have him change that is surprising. One would imagine that the Cardinals would like him to play to his strengths.
Through 20 big league games with the Cardinals, Jordan Walker was slashing a respectable .274/.321/.397 with a .718 OPS and two home runs. His slugging numbers weren't incredible by any means, but he was still contributing. All the demotion ended up doing was helping Walker to realize he didn't need to change anything.
In what has been a difficult season for the Cardinals, one has to wonder if they regret their decision to demote Walker.