Jordan Walden

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Jordan Walden
DSC 5365 Jordan Walden.jpg
Walden with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 53
Born: (1987-11-16) November 16, 1987 (age 27)
Fort Worth, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 22, 2010 for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Career statistics
(through April 29, 2015)
Win–loss record 12–14
Earned run average 3.00
Strikeouts 266
Saves 39
Career highlights and awards

Jordan Craig Walden (born November 16, 1987) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Atlanta Braves.

Early life[edit]

Walden attended Mansfield High School in Mansfield, Texas, and then Grayson County College. Growing up, he was friends with Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Minor league career[edit]

He was drafted by the Angels in the 12th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft, and began his professional career the next season.

Walden pitched for the Orem Owlz in 2007, going 1–1 with a 3.08 ERA in 15 starts. In 6413 innings, he allowed 49 hits and three home runs while striking out 63 batters. Prior to the 2008 season, Baseball America named Walden the 81st best prospect in minor league baseball. He split that season between the Cedar Rapids Kernels (with whom he went 4–6 with a 2.18 ERA in 18 starts) and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (5–2, 4.04 ERA in nine starts), going a combined 9–8 with a 2.76 ERA in 27 starts. He pitched 15613 innings, allowing 122 hits and seven home runs while striking out 141 batters.[2]

Before the 2009 season, Walden was named the 70th best prospect in baseball. He pitched for the Arkansas Travelers and went 1–5 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts that season. In 2010 he converted to relief pitching, spending 38 games with the Travelers and six games with the Salt Lake City Bees without making a start.

Walden was the California League Pitcher Of The Week for the week of August 11, 2008 with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. He also was named Texas League Mid-season All-Star from the Arkansas Travelers in 2010.

Major league career[edit]

He was promoted to the Los Angeles Angels on August 22, 2010, when his contract was purchased from their AAA affiliate, Salt Lake Bees.[3] On August 24, 2010, Walden's four-seam fastball was clocked at 100.5 mph in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.[4]

Walden pitching

When the Angels traded Brian Fuentes to the Minnesota Twins, on August 27, 2010, the Angels began to use Walden as their setup pitcher in the eighth inning.[5] Walden recorded his first MLB save on September 19, 2010, against the Tampa Bay Rays.[6]

Walden was named the Angels full-time closer on April 5, 2011, replacing Fernando Rodney. On July 7, 2011, Walden was selected to appear in the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, replacing Mariano Rivera, who was injured.[7]

In 2012, Walden struggled with his command early in the season. On April 27, 2012, Walden was demoted from the closer role, and was replaced by Scott Downs.[8]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

On November 30, 2012, the Angels traded Walden to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Tommy Hanson.[9]

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

On November 17, 2014, the Braves traded Walden and Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.[10] On December 23, 2014, Walden signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals, worth $6.6 million.[11] On May 6, 2015, he was diagnosed with a left shoulder strain. The Cardinals estimated a timetable of six to ten weeks before he could return to pitching.[12]

Pitching style[edit]

Walden is a hard thrower, with a four-seam fastball ranging from 96 to 99 mph. His off-speed pitch to right-handed hitters is a slider in the mid 80s. He also throws the slider to lefties, but in 2011 he developed a changeup at 86–89 mph that he uses more often. His off-speed pitches work extremely well in tandem with his fastball, with whiff rates of about 48% on his changeup and 61% on his slider — each well above the league averages. He has also experimented with a two-seam fastball.[13] The high whiff rates have contributed to a 10.9 K/9 ratio through mid-2012.[14]

Walden has an unusual pitching motion. He hops in the middle of his windup, and actually has both feet in the air for a split second, before returning to the ground and throwing the ball.[15]


  1. ^ Allison Brown (March 8, 2010). "North Texans on Opposite All-Star Teams". (Texas). Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ "BR Minors". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ " Transactions". July 27, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Pitch FX". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ Mike Scioscia. "". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ FinalWed, Sept 28 (August 22, 2010). "". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ Mike DiGiovanna (April 27, 2012). "Angels' Jordan Walden loses closing job". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 30, 2012). "Braves acquire Jordan Walden from Halos for Tommy Hanson". Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ Cards get Heyward from Braves in four-player swap
  11. ^ "Jordan Walden agrees to $6.6M deal". Associated Press. December 23, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (May 6, 2015). "Walden likely out until after All-Star break". Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Jordan Walden". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jordan Walden Statistics and History -". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  15. ^ Jeff Sullivan, Jordan Walden Will Come At You. SB Nation. Published 2 Sept 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.

External links[edit]