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Giants' Winn Has Winning Experience

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SAN FRANCISCO
—One of Buster Posey’s greatest honors from his college days was winning the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher. He won’t be the only catcher in Giants camp to have been a finalist for the award. The organization isn’t wasting any time exposing Matt Winn to big league life. Just eight months after being drafted in the 14th round out of Virginia Military Institute, Winn received an invitation to major league spring training. He’ll catch bullpens alongside Posey, Andrew Susac and others. Not a bad spot for a 23-year-old kid who has played a grand total of 36 games in his professional career.
Winn hit just .216/.277/.328 in those games split between the Giants’ Rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League and low Class A Augusta. But in terms of life experience, Winn might have even Posey beat. Unlike Posey, who learned to catch in his sophomore year at Florida State, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Winn has been strapping on shinguards since he was 10 years old. He starred at VMI and is the program’s all-time leader in runners picked off (25) and fielding percentage (.989). Attempted base stealers had just a 61.1 percent success rate against him. Winn also starred with the bat while starting all 50 games for the Keydets as a senior, hitting .304 with a club-best 14 home runs while playing close to his home in Richmond. As he climbs the ladder, he figures to play in front of friends and family again since the Giants’ Double-A affiliate is right in town. Winn was a finalist but didn’t win the Bench Award. Southern California’s Garrett Stubbs took the honor. But while Stubbs will have a locker in minor league camp with the Astros, Winn will have the chance to catch Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. Not a bad consolation prize. GIANTICS • Righthander Dylan Brooks was suspended 50 games after an undisclosed violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Brooks, a 30th-round selection in 2013, was previously suspended in January 2015, when he had a second positive test for a drug of abuse. • Shortstop Christian Arroyo
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, born in 1995, will be the youngest player in the Giants’ major league camp this spring.

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