Cole Winn: Rangers 2021 Minor League Player Of The Year
The No. 1 thing all players strive for, in the major leagues or in trying to get there, is consistency.
The best players are the ones who are the most consistent.
The Rangers had many prospects produce consistent results in 2021, both at the upper and lower levels of their farm system. The most consistent, though, was 21-year-old righthander Cole Winn.
His season was the kind of breakthrough the Rangers were hoping to see after an inconsistent 2019 and a 2020 season spent at the Rangers’ alternate training site.
As the organization builds from within and tries to shake its long run of bad luck with developing starting pitchers, Winn stands out as their best minor league player in 2021.
Winn, drafted 15th overall in 2018 out of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High, made 19 starts for Double-A Frisco and two more for Triple-A Round Rock. He recorded a 2.41 ERA and struck out 107 in 86 innings while allowing a minute .146 opponent average and 0.86 WHIP.
“You set the goal every year to work your way up to the big leagues,” Winn said. “Next year will be a year I think I have potential to (reach MLB), so it’s definitely going to be one of my goals.”
Winn had just two starts in which he allowed more than three runs. The Rangers took it slowly with him in the second half after he started for the American League team at the Futures Game and following time in the Covid-19 protocols, but even then the results were steady and dominant.
“I think it was the level of preparation I had,” Winn said. “We were talking about what we could do each game, whether it was watching a game the day before and creating a plan off that—or the day of creating a plan and trying to execute it as best as possible.”
— Winn was recognized by the Rangers as their minor league pitcher of the year, beating out A.J. Alexy, Cole Ragans, Cody Bradford and Zak Kent. First baseman Dustin Harris was selected as the Rangers' player of the year after blossoming from a fringy prospect to an offensive force at the Class A levels.
— Righthander Nick Snyder was named by the club as its minor league reliever of the year after dominating at three levels. He finished the season on the major league injured list with shoulder fatigue, but there is no structural damage. Shortstop Luisangel Acuña was selected as the top defensive player in the system.
— Outfielder Evan Carter, the 2020 second-round pick, was not expected to play in games during instructional league as he continues to recover from a stress fracture in his lower back. However, the Rangers were planning for him to take part in drills.