The Major League Baseball (MLB) St. Louis Cardinals made a rather unexpected choice. While calling up a utility player who had been designated for transfer (DFA), he lowered the ‘top prospect’ to the minor leagues.
St. Louis announced on the 27th (Korean time), “We are lowering outfielder Jordan Walker (21) to Triple A through a minor league option. Instead, we signed a major league contract with infielder Taylor Motor (34) who passed the waiver.
Walker, born in 2002, is a highly anticipated prospect in the major leagues beyond St. Louis. In the prospect rankings of ‘MLB Pipeline’, the prospect contents of MLB.com, the official major league website, he overtook prominent players and ranked second in the entire big league.
Walker, who was selected in the 2020 draft, made his major league debut this season. Hitting in all of his first 12 games, he tied the record for a rookie under the age of 21 in a hitting streak of 111 years since Eddie Murphy (then Philadelphia Athletics) in 1912. Until the previous day, in 20 games of the season, he had a batting average of 0.274, 2 homers, 11 RBIs, 2 steals, and an OPS of 0.718, which was good for a rookie.
On the other hand, Motor had already been abandoned by the club once. After signing a minor league contract with St. Louis at the end of last year, he was called up to the big leagues ahead of the season. However, he was nominated for transfer on the 24th after posting a batting average of 0.222 in 7 games. Motter, who went down to Triple-A after that, was called up to the major leagues in less than 36 hours. 크크크벳
There is a surprising response from the locals. The American media rushed to report the news of the top prospect’s relegation to the minor leagues. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, who reported the news, later shared the club’s official announcement, saying, “I made the announcement in St. Louis in case they thought I was making a belated April Fool’s joke.” MLB Trade Rumors, which specializes in MLB transfer news, also evaluated it as “a surprising move.”
But there was a reason from the club’s point of view. This season, Walker’s ground ball-to-ball ratio is 58.5%, which is higher than the league average (42.5%). In the last 8 games, the pace has fallen somewhat with a batting average of 0.192. In response, St. Louis gave Walker time by excluding Walker from the lineup after the first game of the doubleheader on the 24th.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an American media outlet, said, “Walker’s high ground ball rate reduced productivity, and it was difficult to find a batting rhythm as St. Louis currently has no fixed outfielder other than Las Nuba (26).” It was better to go down to the minor leagues and improve the sense of the game.