First-round MLB draft pick shares Washington memories

Published 2:14 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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Walker Jenkins was drafted 5th overall by the Minnesota Twins straight out of high school. His grandparents lived in Washington N.C. and when Jenkins came to visit them, he fell in love with the city.

“I have tons of memories from Washington”, Jenkins said. “I would visit my grandparents and I would go hunting, fishing, and even go-karting. I remember there was an old wooden swing at my grandparent’s house that my sister and I would always use and it was so much fun. Some of my fondest memories came from Washington.”

Jenkins was raised in Oak Island, N.C. but both his parents are also from Washington, N.C. Jenkins said he visited every couple of months or during holidays. He said he was always excited to go to Washington, N.C.

“Sometimes when we were up there it would snow. It never really snowed back home so it was always enjoyable to go up there and see my family,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins and the Twins organization agreed to a seven-million-dollar deal. He had to fly to Minnesota to go through lots of physical examinations. Once he got the green light, he went to the stadium to sign his contract.

“I got to tour the stadium and meet some of the players after I signed,” Jenkins said.  “After that, I got to stay and watch a game there at the stadium. It was truly amazing, it’s a dream true. I feel like a baby that gets to eat ice cream every day, I’m having a blast.”

Jenkins goes the extra mile every day when he trains. Back in high school, he practiced for four hours every day. He said he would hit for an hour and a half, work out for another hour and a half, and work on speed or mobility drills for another hour. He did this every day. Whether it was rain or shine, Jenkins could be seen taking swings in the cage.

An hour before the MLB draft, he was taking swings in a batting cage that his father and grandfather put up at his house. “I love that cage,” Jenkins said. “I was always in that cage with whoever would throw to me. Sometimes it was my dad, sometimes it was my buddies but no matter what I was in that cage.”

He is currently in Florida playing rookie ball. He said he spends much more time training with the Twins organization. When it is not a game day, Jenkins said he trains for over six hours. He hopes to climb the ladder to the big leagues through the minor league system. Not only does he want to play in the MLB, but Jenkins also said he wants to win multiple World Series.

“I’m excited to get better throughout the years,” Jenkins said. “I have been soaking up knowledge and I plan to keep learning from everyone I play with. I want to be the best and I’m going to keep working as hard as I can.”