Jordan Walker and Anthony Volpe, two of Major League Baseball’s top 5 prospects, will debut in the majors on Opening Day.
According to MLB Pipeline, Walker is the fourth-best prospect in baseball and the number-one overall prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Volpe ranks as the fifth-best prospect in baseball and the number-one overall prospect for the New York Yankees organization.
Walker, 20, joins the Cardinals big league club after a solid Spring Training with the club where he hit .277, with a .299 OBP, .791 OPS, and three homers in 65 at-bats. The future superstar outfielder who was drafted 21st overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, only played in the minors for two years, spending time with Low-A Palm Beach and High-A Peoria in 2021, and Double-A Springfield in 2022. Walker slashed .306/.388/.510 with 19 homers, and 58 RBIs in 119 games for Springfield.
Volpe, 21, joins the Yankees after an amazing Spring Training performance that saw him hit .306, with a .415 OBP, 1.033 OPS, and three homers in 55 at-bats. The Yankees’ shortstop was drafted 3oth overall in the 2019 MLB Draft. He spent the rest of that year with the Pulaski Yankees of the Appalachian League. In 2021 he spent time with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley, and in 2022 he spent time with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton. Volpe slashed .251/.313/.401 with 18 homers and 60 RBIs in 109 games for Somerset last year and was promoted to Scranton on September 2nd, which explains a very small sample size of stats at that level.
The decision to promote Walker and Volpe by the Cardinals and Yankees shows a small change of mentality from some front offices as in the past, players of their caliber would be held in the minors in order to help gain an extra year of service time for the major league club. This is a small step in the right direction for the game, and many fans hope other teams will continue to follow suit.
Walker and Volpe are not only expected to be contenders for their respective league’s Rookie of the Year awards but are going to be major lineup upgrades at their positions for the Cardinals and Yankees.
(Photo via Nathan Ray Seeback, USA TODAY Sports)