Cardinals Demote Struggling Jordan Walker

Walker is returning to Triple-A after a slow start to the season.
Apr 1, 2024; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jordan Walker (18) reacts
Apr 1, 2024; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jordan Walker (18) reacts / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Jordan Walker is headed back to the minor leagues. The outfielder and former top prospect has struggled mightily to begin the 2024 season and on Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced they were sending him down to Triple-A Memphis.

In 20 games so far in 2024, Walker is slashing .155/.239/.259, with an OPS of .497. He has no home runs, four RBIs and has struck out 18 times against only six walks. His wRC+ is a dismal 44 and he's posted a WAR of -0.3. Given his level of raw talent, things have gotten really bad.

The 21-year-old Walker made St. Louis' Opening Day roster last season and was up with the team until late April. He was sent back to the minors on April 26 for several weeks, arriving back with the big league club on June 2. He remained with the Cardinals for the rest of 2023 and turned in a solid rookie season.

In 117 games as a rookie, Walker hit .276 with a .342 on-base percentage while slugging .445. He hit 16 home runs, drove in 51 run and posted an OPS of .787 and a wRC+ of 116. It was a solid first season in the big leagues but there was plenty of room to grow. That growth hasn't come in 2024.

St. Louis selected Walker with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft and he largely breezed through the minor leagues. He was a consensus top 10 prospects entering the 2023 season after dominating Double-A in 2022. That season he slashed .306/.388/.510 with 19 home runs, 68 RBIs, 31 doubles and 22 stolen bases. He followed that up with a solid showing in the Arizona Fall League where he posted a .925 OPS with five home runs in 21 games.

Walker has had a horrendous start to his 2024 campaign. The talent is there but he has yet to put it all together.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Ryan has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining the SI team in 2024. He also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. Ryan is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism school.