An exceptional spring training accelerated Masyn Winn’s rise to the majors, and the Cardinals hope finishing the fall with them sets him up for a steady start as their everyday shortstop in 2024.
The 21-year-old, live-wire shortstop hit .288/.359/.474 in 105 games for Triple-A Memphis, and he paired 17 stolen bases with 18 home runs. His performance—coupled with the Cardinals’ retreat from contention—led to a late-season callup.
“I hope this is huge for him,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “He’s getting that exposure, and in the end you’re getting to watch what he gains from this. It will make next year much more seamless.”
When the Cardinals drafted Winn in the second round in 2020, they believed the two-way player had multiple expressways to the majors.
On the mound, he had a feel for multiple pitches, a quality breaking ball and a fastball that had already reached 98 mph. He was even more gifted as a shortstop.
The question was whether his bat would keep up with his glove in the field or his arm off the mound.
Through some offseason work with coaches and his willingness to embrace a style of hitting that fit his strengths, speed, and size, Winn took off at Double-A Springfield in 2022.
That earned him an invite to big league spring training, where injuries and the World Baseball Classic opened up playing time.
In his brief time in St. Louis, Winn showed in the field what he did all summer in Memphis. He was up to speed defensively.
“It’s three (highlight plays) almost every game,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “When you have an elite shortstop that has a plus arm, you finish double plays that don’t normally get turned.”
Winn was not as ready offensively. Lots of offspeed pitches greeted him and he hit .175 through his first 100 at-bats. He said that will inform his offseason, and he was already plotting ways to add strength and weight to make him more durable and impactful.
“It’s the biggest stage,” Winn said. “I’m trying to take everything in as a learning step.”
— Although he did the bulk of his damage against the Texas League before becoming a Cardinals prospect, Thomas Saggese did even better after the trade to clinch the league’s MVP award. Not that he was around when that happened. The 21-year-old second baseman hit .318/.385/.551 with 25 homers and 60 extra-base hits in the TL. St. Louis acquired him from the Rangers in the Jordan Montgomery trade.
— His entry into professional ball interrupted by injury, righthander Ian Bedell excelled in his first full season. Given the year at High-A Peoria to settle into a routine and grow with a group of pitchers, the 24-year-old went 4-2, 2.44 in 27 games (19 starts) and struck out 106 in 96 innings. A 2020 fourth-rounder out of Missouri, Bedell could rise rapidly in 2024, and the Cardinals wanted to build a foundation for that launch through High-A.