Walker Jenkins, out of South Brunswick (N.C.) HS is a large (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) athlete that shows, plus raw power, solid defensive instincts with a strong arm, and good overall hit tools. Jenkins was the Gatorade North Carolina player of the year in 2022 as a high school junior.
Jenkins bats left and throws right and has played centerfield in high school. It will remain to be seen if Jenkins will stay in center or will be more suited for a corner position as he progresses through the pro ball ranks. He runs well, but with his big frame it is unclear if he will maintain his current speed as he matures and fills out even more.
There has not been a North Carolina high school prep star as highly sought after since Ranger Hall of Famer, Josh Hamilton was taken with the first overall selection in the 1999 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Jenkins is committed to the University of North Carolina, but with the likelihood of being selected in the top of the MLB draft, there is little chance that he plays ball in Chapel Hill next year.
Baseball America has Jenkins atop their latest high school draft prospect listing. He was unable to make the showcase circuit last summer because a hamate injury kept him sidelined. Jenkins had already shined on the national stage as he had made the 18U USA national team in 2021 as an underclassman.
One comp that has been thrown around with Jenkins, is Austin Meadows. While Meadows has struggled the last two seasons, he has put up some substantial numbers during parts of his career. Everyone wants to draft the next Mike Trout, but getting a major leaguer with an early draft pick is paramount. Missing on too many of those first round selections can have a negative impact on an organization for years. If the Rangers decide to dip back into the prep world for their first round pick this year, Jenkins appears to be a tremendous choice. Plus, as several fans have already pointed out, having Walker "Texas Ranger" in the organization would be kind of fun.