Confirmed: Twins’ Top Prospect Walker Jenkins is Gonna be a Superstar

Walker Jenkins
Michael Cuneo/STARNEWS / USA TODAY NETWORKCredit: Michael Cuneo/STARNEWS / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last year, MLB conducted its first-ever Draft Lottery, and while the Minnesota Twins didn’t win the first overall pick, they were arguably the luckiest team to emerge from the scrum by landing Walker Jenkins. You see, the Twins were supposed to hold the 13th pick in the 2023 MLB Draft based on their 78-84 record from the year prior. But thanks to the new MLB Draft lottery, they were able to leap all the way to the fifth pick.

But like every draft, it doesn’t matter how high you pick; you still need to select the right prospect. Luckily, this was one of the most talent-rich draft pools in recent memory, with as many as five players viewed as potential No. 1 overall picks.

Well, with five possible players who could be the top selection, this meant the Twins were in line to select a very good player, no matter what. Yet, not even the Twins likely could have expected they’d land Walker Jenkins, who has a chance to become one of the best players ever drafted by this organization.

Minnesota Twins top prospect Walker Jenkins

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound outfielder hits from the left side of the plate, but he has the power to drive the ball to all parts of the field. Sure, he’s still just 19 years old, but it’s not hard to see the superstar potential in the Twins’ top prospect.

Recently, Bobby Nightengale highlighted Jenkins with a puff piece in the Star Tribune, hailing praise on the future star. Embedded in the article were several quote-worthy gems displaying just how driven this young ballplayer is to become an all-time great.

“I don’t think there is anybody who is going to go out there and love the game more than I am, and have more fun doing it. When you love something, you want to be the best at it.”

Twins’ top prospect Walker Jenkins

Related: Unhittable Louie Varland May Force His Way into Twins’ Rotation

MLB.com has Jenkins graded with a ’60’ in the hit, power, and arm categories. Scouts believe he has 30-40 home run potential and a Matt Wallner-like cannon for an arm. But unlike the towering 6-foot-4 Forest Lake native who could easily be confused for Paul Bunyan, Jenkins can also run, and there’s a belief he may actually stick in center field.

Somehow, Jenkins slipped to the fifth pick in the draft, but he’s since become the 10th-ranked player in MLB’s top-100 prospect list, surpassing Detroit’s Max Clark, who was selected fourth overall. This should come as no surprise for a player like Jenkins, who says he’s motivated by being overlooked, not just in the draft, but even going back to his youth baseball days, being snubbed for the local all-star teams.

“I’m not saying the teams made bad decisions. I think all those dudes in front of me are great, great ballplayers. But I want to show them why I should have been there.”

Walker Jenkins on what fuels him (via Star Tribune)

That’s perfect, because Jenkins will get his chances at revenge, each time the Twins play the Tigers. For now, he’s smashing baseballs in the minor leagues, leaving opposing pitchers with nightmares after hearing the crack of his bat, but he’s already off to a great start in his career, stat-wise.

Jenkins wants to be great

walker jenkins minnesota twins
South Brunswick’s Walker Jenkins Feb. 8, 2023 at South Brunswick’s baseball field in Southport, N.C. Wlm Walker3

But it’s not just the stats that impress the Twins; it’s also his work ethic, which drives Jenkins to perfect his craft, even after a long day. Twins officials shared a revealing story about how Jenkins was already asking to hit the batting cages as soon as he arrived in Florida at the team’s spring training facility, another testament to his desire to be great.

What stood out to the Twins, as much as his statistics, was his work behind the scenes. When Jenkins flew to Florida after his introductory news conference at Target Field, he asked if he could take swings immediately once he arrived at the team’s spring training facility.

It was after midnight.

“Some people think it’s kind of inflated when people say [those stories], but I love it, man. There are times when you get back from a baseball tournament and it’s like, I want to hit some more. Get home and it’ll be 10 or 11 o’clock with my dad. The time I got down here, I went out to sign, and I hadn’t hit in like a week. I was like, ‘Dude, I want to get some swings in.'”

Walker Jenkins on his baseball addiction

It’s clear that no one has to tell Jenkins to get to work; he craves it. But it’s clear his dedication is paying off so far. While he only had a small sample size in his first taste of action with the Twins, playing 26 games in the minors, Jenkins only swung and missed at one fastball – a 99 mph heater from former LSU star Paul Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.

Related: Unhittable Louie Varland May Force His Way into Twins’ Rotation

There’s no denying that Jenkins is on the path to superstardom; it’s just a matter of when he gets there. For now, he’ll continue to work, but even Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey admits the team couldn’t ask for anything more from Jenkins thus far. He’s exceeded expectations, but for the outfielder, Jenkins says this is just the start of what’s to come.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: