Detroit Tigers 2023 MLB Draft Profile: OF Walker Jenkins

Team East outfielder Walker Jenkins (6) during the 2022 Perfect Game All-American Classic
Team East outfielder Walker Jenkins (6) during the 2022 Perfect Game All-American Classic / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers have to be considering Walker Jenkins.

The Detroit Tigers have their pick of the litter at no.3 in a top-heavy draft class. While this draft class can be labeled as weaker, with things falling off quickly, especially with the arms. But the Tigers will have a top-tier player waiting for them at no.3 overall.

The Detroit Tigers should invest heavily in collegiate bats, finding the right fit. But if things change and the team wants to go out and grab a player from the prep scene, there will be some names out there.

Perhaps the most significant debate on the prep side is if Max Clark or Walker Jenkins is the better option on anyone's draft board. Who takes the cake? Co-Expect Matthew Scheidel wrote up the profile on Clark for our MCB Draft coverage, but I'm on Team Jenkins.

When it comes to Clark vs. Jenkins, I think Jenkins takes the cake, and I have been on the Jenkins side of the debate for quite some time. That said, if the Tigers can scoop up Walker Jenkins at third overall this July, there has to be some serious debate about taking him.


Jenkins is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame with a ton of physicality and athleticism in the build. He's a swimmer, and a good one at the high school level, picking up the sport to stay in shape, build some muscular endurance, and overall benefit his craft on the ball field as well—something to be said about the Oak Island, N.C. native and his exceptional frame.

The outfielder swings it from the left side and has been a stud on the prep circuit. He's shined on the Perfect Game circuit and showed out better than Clark at the 2022 All-American Classic. He's got an arm that bodes well as a corner guy, even though he can play in center field. Some have Jenkins pegged to be a centerfielder in the long-term, though; I think you are looking at a power-hitting corner outfielder who swings it real well.

He's had a good spring campaign, putting to bed any questions about his health and ability to mash out there. He's hit well with a ton to like about the swing itself. Jenkins has advanced bat speed and a sense of the barrel to get on plane with pitches and do damage in the air. He projects with serious power in the long term, and it's a solid operation in the batters' box with serious juice.

I've seen Jenkins several times, and he's clearly got some loud stuff. It's a must-see swing that draws eyes, and the results are often pretty. Even when it's not a home run or a pumped extra-base hit, he finds ways on base and gets the barrel on the ball.


The simple way to put it are the hit & power tool. He's someone that projects to hit and hit for power. He's got the potential to leave the yard in big league parks and will be able to show juice as he moves through a minor league system. He's got an athletic swing and overall has the tools to be a great hitter as he climbs an organization's ladder.

Jenkins is not only an exciting prospect with the stick in his hands but can patrol the outfield well too. While Clark may have him with how well Clark glides around the outfield, Jenkins has the athleticism and ability to stick in center field. Though, as mentioned, I think he's better suited to be a power-hitting corner outfield in the long term.

The projection is exciting, with a high-power ceiling and lots to like on the offensive side of things. Defensively there are still things to project on as you think about what he might look like in a few years in terms of his physicality and build once he gets into a big league organization, and they continue to develop him.


Health. While he was cleared this spring and has been solid to start the 2023 spring, he has undergone surgeries on his hips. He's healthy and performing just fine, as it seems big league teams are not shying away in their scouting of him one bit.

It's something to consider in the long term regarding durability, but he should be just fine after a solid spring with South Brunswick HS leading up to the summer and, eventually, the draft. The hit tool is trumped by the plus-plus power, so that could give another top-tier player the edge over him.

But, like so many of these top-tier players, he will be considered at third overall. The Tigers should be happy with Jenkins if he were the pick at third overall.

Fit with the Detroit Tigers

In the long term, it's a corner outfielder with tons of juice to do damage in the middle of the order. Again, that's my projection for him. It feels like Jenkins is one of those players with a really good makeup to jump into an organization like the Detroit Tigers and easily climb the ladder.

It's not to say he's going to vault right to the big leagues, but if he can go in and compete against high-level pitching in affiliate ball like I think he will, that's someone who's going to turn heads and get some attention on the "Road to Detroit."

If the Tigers are not sold on Wyatt Langford or Dylan Crews (providing one/both are there at three), they should really be considering taking Jenkins to add into the mix. He'd greatly benefit the organization moving forward and be someone to supplement as a future middle-of-the-order power bat.

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