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Minor-league report: Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker hits 434-foot homer in fall league

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Springfield Cardinals

Springfield's Jordan Walker hits a home run during a baseball game on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo. Paul Halfacre, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Having already hit a 423-foot home on Friday, Cardinals outfield prospect Jordan Walker on Monday one-upped himself with another mighty swing in the Arizona Fall League.

Walker belted a 434-foot solo homer — his second of the AFL — when he connected on a slider from Twins prospects Ryan Shreve. The solo homer landed high up the berm in center field after it came off Walker’s bat at 107.8 mph, per statcast.

The home run from the 20-year-old highlighted his two-for-four day that included a single and two runs scored.

Walker was one of six Cardinals prospects to take part in the Salt River Rafters’ 8-3 loss to the Glendale Dessert Dogs.

Here’s how some of those prospects did:

Outfielder Jordan Walker: With that performance, Walker improves to four-for-16 with two homers, four RBIs, and three walks in five fall league games. Walker, who started in right field on Monday, did not commit an error and was credited with an assist after he threw out Reds prospect Noelvi Marte at second when Marte tried to stretch a single into a double. Walker has played exclusively in the outfield since making his fall league debut.

Shortstop Masyn Winn: Making his second start at second basein the Arizona Fall League, Winn was involved in two double plays turned and went two-for-three with a pair of singles. In five fall league games with Salt River, Winn is batting .286 (four-for-14) with one RBI and four walks. Winn has shared playing time at shortstop with Diamondbacks prospect Jordan Lawler.

Left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas: After he gave up three runs (one earned) during his start on Oct. 3, Thomas pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five batters. The lefty threw 68 pitches (46 strikes) and worked around six hits and a walk in the effort. He generated 10 swings-and-misses with seven of those coming against his slider, per statcast.

Thomas managed to leave the bases loaded in the first inning after inducing a groundout against Dodgers prospect Andy Pages and, in his fifth and final inning, got a ground ball out to end the frame after the first two batters he faced reached base.

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Leahy: Leahy allowed three runs on two hits and one walk in 2/3 of an inning of relief. Leahy entered the ballgame at the start of the eighth inning and gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced. The righty followed that by throwing a wild pitch and by giving up a two-run double. After retiring Alex Isola on a flyout, Leahy was removed from the game. He threw 30 pitches — 17 strikes.

Graceffo and Rincon named September pitchers of the month

Right-handed pitchers Gordon Graceffo and Hancel Rincon on Monday were named Pitcher of the Month for the respective leagues they finished the minor-league season.

Graceffo, 22, earned Texas League Pitcher of the Month for September after hurling 16 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out 22 batters in that span. During that impressive stretch, Graceffo allowed just five hits and walked two. The former fifth-round Cardinals draft pick capped off his first full season of minor-league baseball by carrying a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings against Springfield in his last start of the season.

Prior to his three scoreless September starts, Graceffo had allowed 19 runs in 18 1/3 innings across five starts in August. He finished the season with a 2.97 over 139 1/3 innings in time with Class High-A Peoria and Class AA Springfield.

Rincon’s September included two starts of six innings a piece and two runs (one earned) allowed across them. With Palm Beach, whose regular season ended on Sept. 11, Rincon ended the year with a 4.29 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 42 innings. The 20-year-old also pitched in six games in the Florida Complex League where he held a 4.43 ERA and struck out 24 batters in 22 1/3 innings.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanGuerrero on Twitter

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