Everyone knows prospects are no sure thing, but it's hard to keep that in draft season when you're on the clock with a chance to get the next Julio Rodriguez or Fernando Tatis or Ronald Acuña. Sure, you might know, intellectually, that the chances of any given top prospect hitting the ground running might be relatively slim, but then the emotion and excitement get the best of you and the next thing you know, you wake up having spent an eighth-round pick on Jordan Walker

And that felt great a month ago, when Walker was still a hypothetical superstar. Now, in light of him getting sent down by the Cardinals on  Wednesday, it looks like a pretty bad decision. 

We'll have plenty of time to argue about whether the decision actually was a bad one at the end of the season. Because the thing you have to keep in mind right now is this isn't the end of Walker's story in 2023. I mean, it might be – his struggles might carry over to Triple-A and the Cardinals might end up keeping him down for the rest of the season, in which case, yeah, it was a bad pick.

But it's also possible they're sending him down with a specific checklist of things to work on – my guess? Outfield defense and swing decisions – and he could be right back up in a few weeks if he goes to Triple-A and gets right quickly. I certainly wouldn't bet against that happening.

Because, while Waler was a disappointment in his first 20 MLB games, it's not like he was bad. Walker hit .274/.321/.397, for a 101 wRC+ (100 is average), and while that was frontloaded thanks to a 12-game hitting streak to open his season, Walker still did a lot right in his first taste of the majors. He was in the 63rd percentile in average exit velocity (90.0 mph) and 78th percentile in hard-hit rate (47.2%) while striking out a manageable 25.6% of the time. 

Walker wasn't great by any means, but as a 20-year-old who skipped Triple-A, I'm not sure exactly what the Cardinals were expecting from him. His plate discipline wasn't great, but they should have known it wouldn't be great. His outfield defense wasn't great, but he had barely played the position before this season, so again, what were they expecting? 

Well, they were hoping he could be a superstar right away, which is what Fantasy players were hoping, too. Walker's call-up was always at least a little bit surprising given the team's logjam in the outfield, but betting he could be a difference maker right away was worth the upside; sending him down when he showed he wasn't also makes at least a bit of sense, assuming it doesn't mess with his confidence. Walker is a work in progress, and now he'll do that work in the minors.

And you should do whatever you can to hang on to him in your Fantasy leagues. Walker takes a big hit in the trade values chart this week, obviously, but I'm keeping him well within the range of the stashable. The likeliest outcome might be that he remains down in the minors long enough that stashing him ends up being a real limitation on your roster, and you might need to make a tough decision to drop him in the coming weeks. 

But, at least for now, I'd be doing what I can to hang on to him, and I might even be looking to send out some buy-low trade offers for him. That's easier said than done, given how many injuries Fantasy players are dealing with, but Walker's upside remains considerable – he showed the raw power could be tapped into in-game in the majors already, and remember he hit .306/.388/.510 with 19 homers and 22 steals in 119 games in Double-A last season.

Walker didn't turn into the next Julio Rodriguez in his first 20 games, and that was disappointing, to be sure. But, it's worth remembering that, at this point in his rookie season, "the next Julio Rodriguez" didn't exactly look like him either. Rodriguez hit just .206/.284/.260 with no homers and 30 strikeouts (a horrifying 37% rate) in his first 20 games a year ago. Those early struggles obviously did not derail Rodriguez's path to superstardom.

And they may not necessarily derail Walker's. This type of outcome was always within the realm of possibility, and it's possible he's more like the next Jarred Kelenic, who needed multiple years of struggling in the majors before he seemingly figured it out this season. But this is still an incredibly talented young player who could get another chance very soon. He'll be arguably the top minor-league player to stash moving forward, and if he gets called back up, I'll be excited about his chances of being a Fantasy difference maker once again.

Don't give up on Walker. His best days are still ahead. 

H2H Points leagues Trade Values

RankPlayerEligibleValueChange From Last Week
1Aaron JudgeDH-OF52
2Ronald AcunaDH-OF461
3Fernando TatisOF-SS469
4Jose Ramirez3B-DH46
5Mookie Betts2B-OF45
6Trea TurnerSS43
7Yordan AlvarezDH-OF41
8Julio RodriguezOF41
9Kyle TuckerOF39
10Juan SotoOF39
11Freddie Freeman1B38
12Mike TroutOF37
13Shohei OhtaniDH-SP37
14Vladimir Guerrero1B-DH37
15Manny Machado3B36
16Gerrit ColeSP36
17Rafael Devers3B36
18Corbin BurnesSP34
19Paul Goldschmidt1B-DH33
20Austin Riley3B33
21Pete Alonso1B-DH33
22Sandy AlcantaraSP32
23Spencer StriderRP-SP324
24Jacob deGromSP324
25Nolan Arenado3B31
26Bo BichetteSS31
27Marcus Semien2B29
28Shane McClanahanSP28
29Bobby Witt3B-SS28
30Kyle SchwarberDH-OF28
31Zack WheelerSP28
32Michael HarrisOF28
33Francisco LindorSS28
34Shane BieberSP28
35Aaron NolaSP28
36Max ScherzerSP28-4
37Dylan CeaseSP28
38Matt Olson1B25
39Luis RobertOF25
40Randy ArozarenaDH-OF25
41J.T. RealmutoC25
42Cedric MullinsOF24
43Wander FrancoSS24
44Kevin GausmanSP24
45Alex Bregman3B23
46Jazz Chisholm2B-OF23-2
47Luis CastilloSP23
48Ozzie Albies2B23-2
49George SpringerDH-OF23
50Justin VerlanderSP21
51Emmanuel ClaseRP21
52Julio UriasSP21
53Alek ManoahSP21
54Framber ValdezSP21
55Josh HaderRP20
56Eloy JimenezDH-OF20
57Yu DarvishSP20
58Will SmithC-DH19
59Bryan ReynoldsOF19
60Teoscar HernandezOF18
61Daulton VarshoC-OF18
62Zac GallenSP18
63Brandon WoodruffSP18-3
64Adolis GarciaDH-OF17
65Adley RutschmanC-DH17
66Starling MarteOF16
67Devin WilliamsRP16
68Xander BogaertsSS16
69Jordan RomanoRP15
70Salvador PerezC-DH15
71Gunnar Henderson3B-SS15
72Corbin CarrollOF15
73Pablo LopezSP15
74Christian Walker1B15
75Clayton KershawSP15
76Byron BuxtonDH-OF15
77Carlos CorreaSS15
78Logan WebbSP15
79Dansby SwansonSS15
80Felix BautistaRP15
81Cristian JavierSP15
82Steven KwanOF15
83Corey SeagerSS15
84Bryce HarperDH151
85Max FriedSP15
86Joe MusgroveSP15
87Ryan PresslyRP15
88Alejandro KirkC-DH15
89Tommy Edman2B-SS15
90Vinnie Pasquantino1B-DH15
91Max Muncy2B-3B-DH151
92Jose Altuve2B15
93Andres Gimenez2B14-1
94Kris BryantDH-OF14
95Willson ContrerasC-DH14
96Christian YelichDH-OF14
97Anthony Rizzo1B14
98Carlos RodonSP14-1
99Blake SnellSP14-1
100Luis SeverinoSP14
101Willy AdamesSS14-1
102Nestor CortesSP13
103Ryan HelsleyRP13-1
104Sean MurphyC-DH13
105Tim AndersonSS132
106Kenley JansenRP12
107Brandon Lowe2B12
108Hunter GreeneSP12
109Joe RyanSP12
110William ContrerasC-DH11
111Camilo DovalRP11-1
112Matt Chapman3B11
113Tyler O'NeillOF11-1
114Kyle WrightSP11-4
115Yandy Diaz1B-3B11
116Nick LodoloSP11-2
117George KirbySP11-1
118Freddy PeraltaSP10
119Lance LynnSP10-5
120Jesus LuzardoSP10
121Gleyber Torres2B10-1
122Logan GilbertSP9
123Josh Bell1B-DH9
124Anthony SantanderDH-OF9
125Jose Abreu1B-DH9-6
126Nate Lowe1B9-1
127Taylor WardOF9-1
128Hunter RenfroeOF9
129Charlie MortonSP8
130Dustin MaySP8
131Hunter BrownRP83
132Lucas GiolitoSP8
133Rowdy Tellez1B82
134Brandon NimmoOF82
135Mitch HanigerOF8
136Chris BassittSP8
137Miguel Vargas1B-2B8
138David BednarRP8-1
139MJ MelendezC-DH-OF8-1
140James OutmanOF83
141Jeremy PenaSS8
142Ty France1B7-1
143Anthony Rendon3B7
144Eugenio Suarez3B7
145C.J. Cron1B-DH7-1
146Seiya SuzukiOF6-1
147Ryan Mountcastle1B-DH5
148Lance McCullersSP5
149Nico Hoerner2B-SS5
150Ketel Marte2B-DH5-3
151J.D. MartinezDH5
152Tyler Stephenson1B-C-DH5
153Jose Miranda1B-3B-DH5
154Drew RasmussenSP5
155Jose BerriosSP5
156Jarred KelenicOF52
157Jonathan India2B4
158Tyler GlasnowSP4
159Tony GonsolinSP4
160Jordan MontgomerySP4
161Ian HappOF4
162Anthony VolpeSS4
163Clay HolmesRP4
164Sonny GraySP43
165A.J. PukRP3
166Graham AshcraftSP3
167Triston McKenzieSP3
168Vaughn Grissom2B-SS3
169Kris BubicSP3
170Alec Bohm1B-3B3
171Chris SaleSP3-6
172Jon GraySP3
173Raisel IglesiasRP3
174Luis Arraez1B-2B-DH3
175Jordan Walker3B-OF3-11
176Andrew Vaughn1B-DH-OF3-5
177Paul SewaldRP3
178Joey Gallo1B-OF31
179Zachary NetoSS33
180Giancarlo StantonDH-OF3
181Oscar ColasOF3
182Jhoan DuranRP3
183Grayson RodriguezSP3
184Andrew HeaneySP3
185Reid DetmersSP3
186Ezequiel TovarSS3
187Nick CastellanosDH-OF3
188Jake Cronenworth1B-2B3
189Amed RosarioSS3
190Jorge SolerDH-OF3
191Logan O'HoppeC3
192Kodai SengaSP2
193Miles MikolasSP2
194Merrill KellySP2
195Mason MillerSP22
196Tyler AndersonSP21
197Jack FlahertySP2
198Javier BaezSS2
199Jorge Polanco2B2
200Eduardo RodriguezSP22
201Jeff McNeil2B-OF2
202Alex VerdugoOF2
203Patrick SandovalSP2
204Nolan Gorman2B-DH22

Rotisserie/Categories leagues Trade Values 

RankPlayerEligibleValueChange From Last Week
1Ronald AcunaDH-OF44
2Trea TurnerSS43
3Fernando TatisOF-SS4311
4Jose Ramirez3B-DH43
5Aaron JudgeDH-OF43
6Julio RodriguezOF43
7Mookie Betts2B-OF38
8Juan SotoOF35
9Kyle TuckerOF35
10Yordan AlvarezDH-OF35
11Mike TroutOF34
12Shohei OhtaniDH-SP34
13Freddie Freeman1B31
14Vladimir Guerrero1B-DH31
15Manny Machado3B29
16Rafael Devers3B29
17Bo BichetteSS29
18Austin Riley3B27
19Gerrit ColeSP27
20Bobby Witt3B-SS27
21Pete Alonso1B-DH27
22Corbin BurnesSP27
23Paul Goldschmidt1B-DH26
24Jacob deGromSP254
25Spencer StriderRP-SP254
26Marcus Semien2B25
27Francisco LindorSS24
28Nolan Arenado3B24
29Randy ArozarenaDH-OF24
30Shane McClanahanSP243
31Cedric MullinsOF23
32Luis RobertOF23
33Aaron NolaSP22
34Sandy AlcantaraSP22-2
35Max ScherzerSP22-2
36Matt Olson1B21
37Kyle SchwarberDH-OF21
38Zack WheelerSP21
39Shane BieberSP20
40J.T. RealmutoC202
41Jazz Chisholm2B-OF20-1
42Emmanuel ClaseRP20
43Kevin GausmanSP18
44Luis CastilloSP18
45Dylan CeaseSP18
46Justin VerlanderSP18
47Ozzie Albies2B17-3
48George SpringerDH-OF17
49Josh HaderRP17
50Adolis GarciaDH-OF17
51Alex Bregman3B16
52Daulton VarshoC-OF16
53Julio UriasSP15
54Brandon WoodruffSP15-3
55Cristian JavierSP15
56Dansby SwansonSS15
57Yu DarvishSP15
58Ryan PresslyRP15
59Alek ManoahSP15
60Corbin CarrollOF15
61Michael HarrisOF15
62Gunnar Henderson3B-SS15
63Tommy Edman2B-SS15
64Byron BuxtonDH-OF15
65Salvador PerezC-DH15
66Vinnie Pasquantino1B-DH15
67Zac GallenSP15
68Bryan ReynoldsOF15
69Jordan RomanoRP15
70Ryan HelsleyRP15
71Will SmithC-DH15
72Alejandro KirkC-DH15
73Eloy JimenezDH-OF15
74Willy AdamesSS15
75Framber ValdezSP15
76Teoscar HernandezOF15
77Joe MusgroveSP15
78Felix BautistaRP15
79Devin WilliamsRP15
80Wander FrancoSS15
81Xander BogaertsSS15
82Starling MarteOF15
83Adley RutschmanC-DH15
84Nestor CortesSP141
85Christian YelichDH-OF14
86Carlos RodonSP14
87Max Muncy2B-3B-DH14
88Christian Walker1B14
89Camilo DovalRP14
90Pablo LopezSP14
91Anthony SantanderDH-OF14
92Andres Gimenez2B14
93Clayton KershawSP14-1
94Carlos CorreaSS14-1
95Sean MurphyC-DH143
96Nate Lowe1B14
97Max FriedSP141
98Willson ContrerasC-DH14
99Brandon Lowe2B14
100Bryce HarperDH11-2
101Gleyber Torres2B13
102Nico Hoerner2B-SS13
103Anthony VolpeSS13
104Steven KwanOF13
105Logan WebbSP12-2
106Tyler O'NeillOF12-2
107Kris BryantDH-OF12
108Jose Abreu1B-DH12-2
109MJ MelendezC-DH-OF12-1
110Nick LodoloSP11-2
111Corey SeagerSS11
112Lance LynnSP11-2
113Matt Chapman3B11
114Joe RyanSP11
115Taylor WardOF11
116Freddy PeraltaSP11
117Jesus LuzardoSP11
118Logan GilbertSP11
119Hunter GreeneSP11
120Hunter RenfroeOF11
121Ty France1B11
122Rowdy Tellez1B111
123Blake SnellSP11-1
124George KirbySP11
125William ContrerasC-DH10-1
126Jeremy PenaSS10
127Jose Altuve2B10
128Tim AndersonSS102
129Josh Bell1B-DH9
130Yandy Diaz1B-3B9
131Charlie MortonSP9
132C.J. Cron1B-DH9
133Seiya SuzukiOF9
134David BednarRP9
135Kenley JansenRP9-1
136Ian HappOF9
137Ketel Marte2B-DH9-1
138Anthony Rizzo1B9
139Kyle WrightSP8-1
140Nick CastellanosDH-OF8-1
141Amed RosarioSS8-1
142Tyler Stephenson1B-C-DH8
143Clay HolmesRP8-1
144Brandon NimmoOF7
145Dustin MaySP7
146Eugenio Suarez3B7
147Alec Bohm1B-3B7
148Luis Arraez1B-2B-DH7
149Chris BassittSP7-1
150Jake Cronenworth1B-2B7
151Sonny GraySP75
152Ryan Mountcastle1B-DH7
153Jonathan India2B7
154Jeff McNeil2B-OF7
155Reid DetmersSP7
156Hunter BrownRP72
157James OutmanOF77
158Kodai SengaSP7-2
159Mitch HanigerOF71
160Andrew Vaughn1B-DH-OF7-2
161Jarred KelenicOF74
162Tyler GlasnowSP7
163Lars NootbaarOF7
164Miguel Vargas1B-2B7
165Joey Gallo1B-OF73
166J.D. MartinezDH6
167Luis GarciaSP6
168Raisel IglesiasRP6
169Luis SeverinoSP6-1
170Cody BellingerOF64
171Giancarlo StantonDH-OF6
172Jhoan DuranRP6
173Javier BaezSS6
174Thairo Estrada2B-SS6
175Riley GreeneOF6
176Patrick SandovalSP6-1
177Grayson RodriguezSP6
178Alex VerdugoOF6
179Jorge Polanco2B6
180Jorge SolerDH-OF6
181Paul SewaldRP6
182Anthony Rendon3B6
183Peter FairbanksRP6
184Chris SaleSP6-2
185Ke'Bryan Hayes3B6
186Lucas GiolitoSP6
187Ezequiel TovarSS6
188Jordan MontgomerySP6
189Vaughn Grissom2B-SS6
190Spencer Steer3B6
191Alexis DiazRP6
192Oscar ColasOF5
193Tony GonsolinSP5
194Jose Miranda1B-3B-DH5-1
195Ryan McMahon2B-3B5-1
196Andres MunozRP5
197Whit Merrifield2B-OF5
198Jean Segura2B-3B5
199Brandon Drury1B-2B-3B-DH5
200Ramon LaureanoOF5
201Drew RasmussenSP5
202Joc PedersonDH-OF4
203Cal RaleighC4
204Graham AshcraftSP4
205Francisco AlvarezC4
206Oscar GonzalezOF4
207Andrew BenintendiOF4
208Merrill KellySP4
209Lourdes GurrielDH-OF4
210Josh Jung3B4-1
211Triston Casas1B4
212Alex CobbSP4
213Lance McCullersSP4
214Jon GraySP4
215Triston McKenzieSP4
216Jorge MateoSS4
217Jose BerriosSP4
218Gabriel MorenoC4-1
219Bryson Stott2B-SS4
220Masataka YoshidaDH-OF4
221Danny JansenC4
222Keibert RuizC4
223Zachary NetoSS33
224Travis d'ArnaudC3
225Michael ConfortoOF3
226Joey Meneses1B-DH-OF3
227Aroldis ChapmanRP3
228Charlie BlackmonDH-OF3
229Jordan Walker3B-OF3-11
230Seranthony DominguezRP3
231David RobertsonRP3
232Reynaldo LopezRP3
233Kyle FinneganRP3
234Austin HaysOF3
235Bryan De La CruzOF3
236C.J. AbramsSS3
237Jose LeclercRP3
238Nathan EovaldiSP3
239Jon Berti2B-3B-SS3
240Matt Mervis1B3
241Trevor Story2B3
242Miles MikolasSP3
243Josh Naylor1B-DH3-1
244Josh Rojas2B-3B3
245Brendan Donovan2B-3B-OF3
246Gregory SotoRP3
247Eduardo RodriguezSP22
248Marcus StromanSP2
249Martin PerezSP2
250A.J. PukRP2-1
251Jameson TaillonSP2
252Trevor RogersSP2-1
253Edward CabreraSP2
254Brady SingerSP2-4
255Jake FraleyDH-OF2
256Jack FlahertySP21
257Mason MillerSP22
258Andrew HeaneySP2