Cards No. 2 prospect Winn continues stellar spring
JUPITER, Fla. -- In his first extended audition around Major League-caliber players, shortstop Masyn Winn has shown the Cardinals that he is every bit the elite prospect who possesses a five-tool arsenal of skills and someone who could very well be on a collision course with stardom in the future.
What the wise-beyond-his-years 20-year-old Winn has also shown -- in addition to having a flashy glove, an overpowering arm, blazing speed, great bat control and surprising pop -- is that he is very much an understanding realist.
Winn, the Cards’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, showed off his immense talent again in Friday’s 16-2 drubbing of the Marlins when he went 3-for-4 with a standup triple, a double and a single -- all of them registering exit velocities of greater than 100 mph. His four-RBI day was highlighted by his triple into the left-center gap in a bases-loaded situation.
That production took Winn to 11-for-33 (.333) with two home runs, two doubles, a triple and nine RBIs for the spring. He’s also used his speed to score eight runs and steal three bases. Despite his stellar spring, he knows his odds of making the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster are slim because of the franchise’s influx of MLB-level talent.
“I understand with the guys ahead of me, I could go 50-for-50 with 50 bombs in my next 50 at-bats, but look who’s ahead of me,” said Winn, who starred at Double-A Springfield last season and is likely to start the 2023 season at Triple-A Memphis. “You’ve got [shortstop] Tommy Edman and [utility ace] Brendan Donovan, two Gold Glovers right there. Pauly [DeJong] had 30 home runs one year -- not a lot can say they did that. Then, there’s Nolan Gorman and a lot of bats.
“In order for me to get [to St. Louis], you have to take somebody out of the lineup, and that’s going to be difficult,” Winn added. “A rebuilding team, it might be a little bit different. But, this team, it’s not a rebuilding team; we’re trying to push for a World Series. But I’m blessed to be a part of it. I’d much rather be on a winning team than a team that’s trying to just get by.”
While Winn might be headed for Triple-A, he’s already made quite an impression on his MLB teammates, namely three-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras had a bases-clearing double in the left-center gap Friday. In the dugout, the World Series-winning catcher even gave a fiery pep talk to the young shortstop.
“Today, I called him ‘What’s My Name?’ If you don’t know my name, it’s Masyn [expletive] Winn,’” said Contreras, who was 2-for-3 with three RBIs on Friday. “So, it’s ‘What’s My Name?’ If people don’t know him, he’s going to be really good.”
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol would agree with that statement, but he fully understands that Winn can’t be on the MLB squad’s Opening Day roster with Edman, Donovan and Gorman firmly ensconced in the middle infield.
“If you're going to take someone like Winn, he has to be able to play short every day,” Marmol said. “There's no reason to take Winn if he's going to come off the bench, play multiple positions or get at-bats here and there. That's a guy that has the potential to play short for a while and establish himself as a really good piece for a long time.
“So, you want to make sure he develops properly,” Marmol continued. “I’m in zero rush to say he's got to break camp with us because of what he's done over a two-week span. There's a process to this, and he's fallen into it extremely well.”
Winn, who is a shocking 6-for-7 against left-handed pitching this spring, said he totally understands the roster jam and will accept whatever assignment he gets when camp breaks. He has shared his stellar spring journey with fellow 20-year-old and Cards’ top prospect, Jordan Walker, who had a double and two RBIs on Friday to push his spring average to .378.
“That’s my brother,” Winn said of his former Springfield roommate. “Coming into pro ball, I didn’t know what to expect, but I met him in the alt-site [camp in 2020], and I was fresh off COVID and I was 150 pounds. We chopped it up, and since then we’ve been boys.”
But what if Walker gets the promotion to St. Louis and Winn is in Triple-A Memphis?
“It doesn’t matter,” Winn said, “[because] I’ll see him at some point.”