Minnesota Twins Top Prospect Walker Jenkins Drawing Superstar Comparisons from MLB Scouts
When was the last time the Minnesota Twins had a top prospect develop into a full blow superstar? Royce Lewis looks like he could become that, if he stays healthy. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano both had their moments early, but fizzled even faster.
Otherwise, we’d have to go back to the M&M days when Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were tearing the cover off the ball. Maybe Francisco Liriano, though he too was just a flash in the pan.
But the Twins have some dudes in their system right now, including two in the MLB.com top-20 prospects for 2024. Most have already heard of Brooks Lee, who Twins fans will see at Target Field sooner, rather than later.
It’s their youngest top prospect, though, 2023 No. 5 overall pick Walker Jenkins, who ranks highest of any Twins’ minor leaguer, coming in at No. 10 at MLB.com. He’s only played 26 minor league games so far in his professional career but everyone who sees this kid up close believes he has superstar written all over him.
Walker Jenkins Draws Comparison to Bryce Harper From ESPN
The latest praise comes from ESPN’s MLB insider Kiley McDaniel, who recently published top-100 MLB prospects for 2024 piece in which he ranks Jenkins 14th overall.
But the more interesting part was where he tossed out a few player comparisons for the 18-year-old power-hitting outfielder. First up, he said Jenkins reminds him of Houston Astros two-time All-Star Kyle Tucker. Then, McDaniel tossed out even bigger names that Jenkins may compare to.
“In his draft spring, Jenkins’ power exploded to 70-grade and he was still showing solid-average speed with a similar physique to MLB outfielder Hunter Renfroe while putting on batting practice displays that had scouts mentioning the name Bryce Harper in hushed tones. Jenkins went No. 5 to the Twins as one of two high school players in the consensus top-five prospects in last summer’s historic top of the draft.
People I talked to who had spent time with Jenkins ahead of the draft have said that he might have the best makeup of any player they’ve been around, and that makes me inclined to take the over on most of his projections — especially because I was already inclined to do that just from watching him on the field. I’ll leave you with this swing that I captured last spring.”ESPN MLB insider Kiley McDaniel on Walker Jenkins’ talent
Here’s the swing McDaniel referred to, and it’s a gem:
South Brunswick HS (NC) OF @WalkerJenkins6 (UNC commit) is the consensus best prep prospect in the '23 draft. The best combination of hit/approach/power from a HS prospect in recent memory, comes with years of summer performance. Here's a HR from 3/28: pic.twitter.com/l2wxmx6IxD— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) April 10, 2023
Reading between the lines of McDaniel’s write-up, it’s clear MLB scouts didn’t want to rush to a conclusion by calling Jenkins the next Bryce Harper or anything like that. Yet, at the same time, for the two-time MVP’s name to even be mentioned in the same breath as Jenkins’s is something Twins fans should be excited about for years to come.
The Twins will start Jenkins at Single-A Fort Myers, with the Mighty Mussels, where he will be one of the youngest players in the league. Projections currently suggest Jenkins won’t make his MLB debut until 2026. Yet, if he can keep driving in nearly a run per game, as he has in the minor leagues thus far (22 RBI in 26 games), we could see Jenkins in a Minnesota Twins uniform sooner than anyone anticipates.