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Minor-league report: Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker homers, ties for AFL lead

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Springfield Cardinals

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

Jordan Walker began his Monday in that same fashion he ended his appearance during Saturday’s game with Salt River.

Walker, the Cardinals' top prospect, homered in his first at-bat of Salt River’s 5-3 win over Scottsdale on Monday giving him home runs in his last two at-bats dating back to Saturday. He has five total in the Arizona Fall League, tying him for the league lead with two other players.

The solo home run from Walker that cleared the center field wall was a part of a two-for-three game that included a double — his fourth since the start of the AFL — his 14th RBI, and his second stolen base.

By the end of Monday, the 20-year-old Walker was tied for the AFL lead in home runs and the leader among all Salt River hitters in slugging percentage with a .597 mark. Across his first 62 at-bats in the AFL, Walker is batting .290 with a .958 OPS.

Walker, who played right field in the win, was among five Cardinals prospects to play on Monday for the Rafter. Here are some of the notable performances:

Second baseman Masyn Winn: Winn went two-for-five with a pair of singles batting from the second spot in Salt River’s lineup. The 20-year-old is batting .320 with a .452 on-base percentage. He has drawn 12 walks and driven in eight runs in 16 games in the AFL.

Left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas: The effectiveness that Thomas has displayed since making his debut in the fall league continued into his start on Monday as he limited Scottsdale to two runs (one earned) and struck out seven over five innings.

Thomas didn’t walk a batter in his start. The seven strikeouts and no walks allowed improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 7.75 strikeouts for every walk issued through his first five games compared to a 2.75 strikeout per walk rate he had in 28 regular season games for Class AAA Memphis. Thomas lowered his ERA to 1.59 and raised his strikeout total to a league-leading 31.  

Center fielder Mike Antico: Antico, who had appeared in a number of AFL games as a pinch runner but had limited at-bats, made the most of his opportunities when he started for the Rafters against the Scorpions. The 24-year-old went two-for-four with a two-out double and scored a run batting eighth in the Rafters’ order.

The multi-hit game — which included Antico’s second extra-base hit of the AFL — improved Antico’s average to .233 and OPS to .828. Antico, who stole a Cardinals minor-league leading 67 bases this past season — is six-for-seven on stolen base attempts in the fall league.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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