Luken Baker
St. Louis Cardinals
First baseman
Born: (1997-03-10) March 10, 1997 (age 24)
Spring, Texas
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Luken Grosvenor Baker (born March 10, 1997) is an American professional baseball first baseman in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Amateur career

Baker attended Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas, alongside Durbin Feltman. In July 2014, he won the Junior Home Run Derby at Target Field.[1][2] He later won the Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game.[3] As a senior, he was named the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year.[4][5][6]

Baker was considered an early round prospect for the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, but emailed major league teams telling them that he would not sign and would instead attend Texas Christian University (TCU) to play college baseball.[7][8] The Houston Astros still selected him in the 37th round that same year, and he did not sign, enrolling at TCU.[9]

In 2016, as a freshman at TCU, Baker was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.[10] He started all 67 of TCU's games, batting .379 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs.[11] As a sophomore in 2017, Baker played 47 games before he suffered a left arm injury during a collision at first base that ended his season. In those 47 games, he batted .317 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs,[12] earning him a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team.[13] Baker returned healthy in 2018 for his junior season, but his season was cut short again after 31 games after he fractured his left fibula and tore a ligament during a slide, requiring season-ending surgery.[14]

Professional career

Baker was drafted 75th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft and signed with them for $800,000.[15][16] He made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, and, after batting .500 in eight games, and was promoted to the Peoria Chiefs.[17] In 37 games for the Chiefs to finish the season, he hit .288 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.[18]

Baker spent the 2019 season with the Palm Beach Cardinals.[19] After hitting .346 with four home runs and a 1.067 OPS in the month of August, he earned Florida State League Player of the Month honors.[20] He finished the year slashing .244/.327/.390 with ten home runs and 53 RBIs over 122 games. To begin the 2021 season, he was assigned to the Springfield Cardinals.[21]

References

  1. ^ "Baseball: Oak Ridge's Luken Baker wins Junior Home Run Derby at Target Field". Sports Update. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "BASEBALL: Oak Ridge's Baker advances to finals of MLB Junior Select Home Run Derby". www.yourwoodlandsnews.com. July 13, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "High school baseball: Oak Ridge riding power-hitting pitcher". Houston Chronicle. February 22, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "Oak Ridge's Luken Baker named Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year". Sports Update. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "BASEBALL: Baker named Gatorade National Player of the Year". www.yourconroenews.com. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  6. ^ Chad Konecky, Special to USA TODAY High School Sports (June 2, 2015). "Oak Ridge's Luken Baker wins Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year". KHOU. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  7. ^ "Luken Baker, Ryan Johnson To Pass On Draft". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Oak Ridge baseball star Baker eyes college over draft cash". Houston Chronicle. June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Mendezcmendez, Carlos (May 24, 2016). "TCU baseball's Luken Baker Big 12 freshman of the year | Fort Worth Star-Telegram". Star-telegram.com. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Triebwasser, Melissa B. (December 12, 2017). "Luken Baker, Sean Wymer named to Top 100 Collegiate Prospects list - Frogs O' War". Frogs O' War. Frogsowar.com. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "State Sports Report".
  13. ^ Star-Telegram (May 23, 2017). "TCU's Skoug selected as Big 12 baseball Co-Player of Year | Fort Worth Star-Telegram". Star-telegram.com. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Stevenson, Stefan (April 18, 2018). "TCU Baseball: Luken Baker will have surgery on Friday | Fort Worth Star-Telegram". Star-telegram.com. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Stevenson, Stefan (May 7, 2017). "TCU Baseball: Luken Baker is first Horned Frog drafted | Fort Worth Star-Telegram". Star-telegram.com. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  16. ^ http://thecardinalnation.com/cardinals-announce-signing-of-draftees-roberts-baker-and-gil/
  17. ^ https://redbirdrants.com/2018/07/21/st-louis-cardinals-baker-peoria/
  18. ^ "Luken Baker Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  19. ^ https://herald-review.com/sports/baseball/cardinals-aching-in-the-outfield-mri-exam-scheduled-for-ozuna/article_fb1f7c43-fb92-50b6-9402-f5e2292dff2f.html
  20. ^ https://www.milb.com/palm-beach/news/luken-baker-wins-florida-state-league-player-of-the-month/c-310534082
  21. ^ https://www.ozarkssportszone.com/2021/04/30/springfield-cardinals-announce-2021-preliminary-opening-day-roster/