by J.T. Toth
Photo of Walker Jenkins courtesy of Baseball Prospect Journal.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM, Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender. In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
Team- South Brunswick HS (NC)
HT/WT- 6’3” 215 lbs.
Home – Oak Island, NC
Walker Jenkins is said to be North Carolina’s best prep position player since Josh Hamilton was selected #1 overall in 1999. He has committed to North Carolina for 2023-2024.
Jenkins also swims at South Brunswick. After becoming one of the top prep baseball players in the county, he gave up swimming during his junior year. Jenkins wanted to start swimming again his senior year and matter-of-factly stated that swimming puts him in his best baseball shape. Jenkins has in the past 2 years added 25 lbs. of muscle and is now 215 lbs.
You will not see many left-handed swings as pretty as Walker Jenkins’s. He understands the strike zone as well as any prep hitter Draft 412 has seen and can take outside corner strikes to the gap in left center field. He has the potential to be a power hitter with a high batting average and covers the complete plate and will tee off on mistakes. Watching video of Jenkins takes Draft 412 back to the sweet left-handed swing of Will Clark who played 15 seasons in the majors.
Jenkins gaining 25 lbs. helped his power hitting, but it has taken a little speed away from his game. Questions are now being asked by scouts about whether Jenkins can still handle centerfield, or if he should be moved to right field to show off his powerful arm. Jenkins still has above average foot speed and reacts well when the ball is hit. Video shows Jenkins being able to track down gap shots, but at 6’3”, 215 lbs., and with the frame to add more muscle, Draft 412 tends to see Jenkins project as a corner outfielder.
Another talented OF in the 2023 class, Jenkins has a high ceiling due to his age and his hitting mechanics. As with the other top college OF prospects Jenkins has plus tools in every aspect of his game.
Walker Jenkins should be the first prep hitter to go in the draft and could push Wyatt Langford for the #3 overall pick. Walker Jenkins will be a name to remember. In three years, he could be a top 5 prospect in all of baseball.
Round 1- #4 on Draft 412 list.