Jordan Walker

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    So Edman is NL MVP? Wow, WAR is that accurate? Amazing.

    Bob Reed


    “Who says no in a Carlson for Zac Gallen swap? Gallen has 3.5 years of control left and Carlson 4.5”

    If Dylan gets back to hitting like the 2nd half of last year (128 OPS+) then it’s a fair deal all around. (In fact, he’s hitting almost exactly that well since mercifully being removed from the unfamiliar and uncomfortable leadoff spot this year — roughly 124 OPS+.) Gallen is really good, but with a somewhat shaky health history. Given the Cardinal roster composition, the trade makes sense from the Birds’ perspective. Don’t know about Arizona, though. Two-thirds of their outfield is set forever with Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll. Not sure if they’d want to give up a top starter to fill the third outfield slot.

    “GC and BCCran, they are obviously going to need an experienced starter next year and I don’t see them spending the big bucks in free agency, so a trade is the likeliest outcome.”

    Agreed 100%, unless Pallante is already really real as a 3/4 MLB starter (highly unlikely) and one other current prospect also solidifies himself as an MLB rotation piece by season’s end. (Liberatore, Connor Thomas, Jake Wo–never mind.)

    “Edman has a career 104 wRC+, so barely above average. He’s probably not as good a defender or as speedy as Winn….”

    I love what Masyn Winn has done, this year AND last year, but he won’t contribute as much as Tommy in the non-hitting categories. It’s almost impossible. Specifically, Tommy has provided more baserunning value than anyone in the majors since the start of the 2019 season, per Fangraphs. And he didn’t even play the whole 2019 season in the majors! And his defense has been somewhere between distinctly above average and outstanding, depending which public source is checked. Overall, defense + baserunning, among non-catchers Tommy is I believe 4th or 5th in all of MLB since the start of 2019 — and again, he didn’t even play a full 2019 season.

    That said, I also think Masyn Winn might stay healthier if switched to the outfield. Less wear/tear, right? And his speed really would get more use in center field than anywhere else. Sooo, if he has Mookie Betts/Alex Gordon outfield instincts, then maybe he oughta be shifted out there — depends in part on what the minor league coaching staffs see. Tommy Edman meanwhile certainly feels like exactly the kind of guy who’ll sign a relatively modest long-term deal, with multiple club options, that takes him through 2 or 3 free agent years. (He knows as well as anyone, his type of player doesn’t get rich via the arbitration process.)

    “Walker hasn’t seen any time in the OF yet, but I agree they probably need to start exploring the idea sooner rather than later, unless they just don’t think he can do it, then he’s going to be limited to DH for awhile.”

    Absolutely, his place is the outfield long-term. A faster, better-fielding Matt Holliday is his upside. His solid speed would be wasted at first base, and DH is silly — his height/reach/range would also be squandered under that premise. The DH spot should belong to Juan Yepez, from 2023-2026 at least. He hits rights and lefts and can’t play the field.

    “Burleson is a DH, Walker may be a DH, Gorman is not an elite glove, and neither is Donovan.”

    There’s two websites that quantify minor league defensive value (Baseball Prospectus and Clay Davenport) and if we average them together we should get a reasonable estimate of each player’s glovework to this point in their careers. Alec Burleson grades out at -3 runs per 150 games. So, just slightly below average. Good enough if he doesn’t get any plumper, and if he really hits. Jordan Walker was covered above. (There’s zero chance Jordan remains at the hot corner. If Arenado leaves for any reason, Gorman would take over there.)

    Gorman’s defense — again, averaging the only two public graders — has been excellent for his career, and dandy at the keystone. At a glance he doesn’t look it, but that’s what the numbers say. Per 150 games, Nolan has been 12 runs better than Brendan Donovan per Clay Davenport, and a whopping 18 runs better per Prospectus. That’s good enough for me to keep him at second base until further notice, and keep Donovan a supersub who takes great at-bats while mostly filling in where he does the least harm with his glove.

    “Gorman will have to be platooned unless something drastic happens.”

    As we’ve found out to our dismay during the year of “Marmol plays Pujols 2 X too much,” the Cards don’t face a lot of lefties. Gorman could start 135-140 games next year and only face 6 or 8 southpaw starters. So I wouldn’t fret too much about that. And anyway, he’s still young enough to be improving versus lefties (.700 OPS against them for Memphis this year), so maybe you let him face lesser lefties going forward. The one thing you absolutely do not do, though, is what Marmol did tonight. Big game, you do everything you reasonably can to win against your only current division rival. You don’t try to “develop” Gorman during this game. Not this game. Tonight counts double.

    Brian Walton

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    Winn has never been on the IL in his career, so I don’t understand the logic of moving him off SS to protect him from wear and tear.

    I do agree that he seems to have the athleticism to play CF and the system does not have a clear Bader replacement (if needed). On the other hand, leave him alone and he could become the best SS and leadoff man this team has had in a looooong time.

    I don’t know what Winn will become someday. No one here does. But one should not assume he cannot surpass Edman in value once he fully develops. We are talking about a barely 20-year-old currently excelling in all aspects of the game at Double-A. As a prospect, he is hotter than Edman ever was as he continues to check off the necessary boxes to become MLB-ready.

    But it doesn’t have to be a direct competition. With the right combination of other players on the roster, the two could co-exist one day.


    Seems like we have a good leadoff man right now in Edman. Looking forward some day for Edman and Winn to bat 1-2.

    Bob Reed


    “I don’t know what Winn will become someday. No one here does. But one should not assume he cannot surpass Edman in value once he fully develops.”

    He won’t match Tommy in the non-hitting contributions. I apologize, Brian, if I was fuzzy in my writing. Strictly the non-hitting stuff: defense + baserunning.

    The thing is, at those facets of the game Edman is beyond mere 99th percentile. He’s 99.something percentile. Tommy made his MLB debut on June 8, 2019. Since the start of the 2019 season (and averaging the defensive values of Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference), here are the top 7 non-catchers for defense + baserunning:

    1) Trevor Story +65 runs
    2) Javy Baez +58
    3) Tommy Edman +56
    4) Kevin Kiermaier +54
    5) Nick Ahmed +48
    6) Francisco Lindor +45
    7) Nicky Lopez +40

    I expect Masyn Winn to be really, really, really good. Obviously I must, or I wouldn’t have ranked him baseball’s #7 overall prospect a couple weeks ago at this site. But he won’t be one of the top 5 players in all of baseball at the non-hitting stuff. I mean, he might. But of course that’s an extreme longshot for anyone, regardless of immense talent & work ethic.

    The other thing, about Winn and wear ‘n tear, I was thinking more that middle infielders can’t self-actualize as batters in the same way that outfielders can. At least that’s kinda the way it appears to me. For instance, I don’t think Mookie Betts would have a career 134 OPS+ if he’d remained a middle infielder. (I could absolutely be wrong about that; it’s my gut talking. Rogers Hornsby wasn’t too bothered by playing 2nd base, I guess.;))

    In any case, there are numerous “moving parts” to this calculation. Does Masyn love, love, LOVE shortstop? If so, maybe leave him there and figure out something with Edman and Gorman. Or perhaps Winn is not that wedded to middle infield and would embrace the Mookie Transition to the outfield — and thrive at it. No better use for his speed. We just don’t know yet how his instincts (or Jordan Walker’s) will be in the outfield.

    “But it doesn’t have to be a direct competition. With the right combination of other players on the roster, the two could co-exist one day.”

    I could not have said it better myself.


    I watched Walker and Winn closely at Spring Training. Walker is a hulk at 6’ 5” and 220 lbs. 20 years old. Long, loping strides. As he matures, he might fill out even more, get heavier, and lose a step or two. He’s a fit for LF.

    Winn is 5’11” and 180 lbs. A superb great looking all around athlete. Excellent flat out speed and a rifle for an arm.

    There’s no reason Walker and Winn can’t be our left fielder and center fielder of the future.

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