MLB Draft: Who is Walker Jenkins, the Twins first round pick in 2023?

  • Twins selected Walker Jenkins with the No. 5 pick
  • Jenkins is one of the top high school players in the country
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

After months of anticipation and speculation, we finally found out who the Minnesota Twins would be using the No. 5 pick in this year’s MLB Draft to select.

The first four picks went exactly the way the Twins probably didn’t want, with two of their potential targets going off the board before the team could get on the clock. Both Max Clark and Wyatt Langford were picked consecutively by the Tigers and Rangers, but that didn’t stop the Twins from landing a top prospect.

Minnesota selected outfielder Walker Jenkins with the fifth overall pick, which is an absolute steal when considering the wider context of the selection.

Without the MLB Draft Lottery being implemented this season, the Twins would have picked No. 13 overall. Instead, the team moved up six spots and landed a Top 5 prospect to help further build a bright future in Minnesota.

Jenkins is a high schooler, so we likely won’t be seeing him get a call to the Majors until closer to the end of the decade. He’s one of the best high schoolers in the country, though, and one of the best prospects in this year’s draft class.

Who is Walker Jenkins?

Here are some fast facts on Jenkins to better familiarize yourself with the newest member of the Minnesota Twins:

Right now he’s playing ball at South Brunswick High School in North Carolina, where he’s become one of the best non-collegiate players in the entire country. Jenkins is a left-handed hitting outfielder who was ranked by both ESPN and Baseball America as the No. 1 high school player, with The Athletic ranking him No. 2.

All of these top accolades come despite not winning National Player of the Year, which went to Max Clark who was drafted two spots ahead of Jenkins. Clark was connected to the Twins as well, but he had a late push ahead of Jenkins who was right there with him as a top player all season long.

Over his last four seasons, Jenkins never once finished a year with an average lower than .417 and posted a whopping 1.062 slugging percentage in 2022. The Twins love power hitting outfielders and Jenkins fits the bill.

When will Walker Jenkins get called up by the Twins?

Don’t hold your breath on this one, because it’s going to be some time before Jenkins plays pro ball.

He’s only 18, which means his journey to fans seeing him take the field in Minneapolis will be a long one. That being said, his trajectory lines up with being in the Majors alongside guys like Brooks Lee, Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, and veterans like Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton. Even if the latter two are gone, Jenkins timeline to being a pro lines up with the rest of Minnesota’s next-gen core.

Of course, there’s a lot of road between now and then, but Jenkins looks every bit the part of a guy fans will be clamoring to see as he develops into a potential star in the farm system.