St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker could be dealing with injury concerns after exiting a Spring Training game against the Houston Astros with a shoulder strain, according to The Athletic’s Katie Woo.

The 20-year-old had been on an absolute tear this spring, batting .438 with three home runs. It was just a 10-game sample size, but fans were seeing the potential stardom that has been advertised since Walker was selected No. 21 overall in the 2020 Amateur Draft. He is listed as the fourth best prospect in’s Top 100.

The Georgia native came in as a third baseman out of high school but has since switched to the outfield. He has produced at every stop his professional baseball journey has taken him thus far, hitting 19 homers and 68 RBIs in Double A Springfield last year. He has a legitimate chance to make the Cardinals Opening Day roster, but any prolonged time on the Injury List would clearly jeopardize that.

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The team will want all of their best talent at full disposal since the National League Central may not be as clear cut as it has been in recent seasons. The Milwaukee Brewers can easily bounce back from a disappointing second half in 2022 with their stout pitching. And the Chicago Cubs worked hard in the offseason to improve their roster. Of course, St. Louis dealt David Ross’ club a big blow by stealing away slugging catcher Willson Contreras in free agency.

It should be a tight division race. Walker could be a key call-up down the stretch. Those type of players are crucial for postseason pushes. Pitchers could quickly find out why he has been consistently one of the best hitters in the minor leagues.

Wherever he ends up to start the season, hopefully he is healthy and sporting his smooth swing in the batter’s box.