Shortstop Is The Focus For Cardinals' Masyn Winn
Masyn Winn picked up a bat and considered the plan this spring to once again put aside his fastball.
“Two-way wise,” he said. “Give it up to Shohei (Ohtani). It’s hard.”
Drafted out of high school as a shortstop/pitcher by the Cardinals in the second round in 2020, Winn has focused his energy as a position player in his first two pro seasons.
He advanced to High-A as a 19-year-old in 2021, and overall at two Class A levels he hit .242/.324/.356 with five home runs and 32 stolen bases.
He flashed the arm strength that makes him an hot prospect as a pitcher—more than 95 mph on throws to first base—and the speed to intrigue as an offensive option.
“They’ve got a plan for me, shortstop-wise,” Winn said. “I’m going to follow what they say. I’m trying to be a big leaguer. Whatever they think will get me there, I’ll do that for sure.”
Winn's bat will ultimately determine his path.
Winn, who is from Kingwood, Texas, spent several weeks in the offseason at the Cardinals’ spring training complex in Florida. He had individual workouts with infield guru Jose Oquendo to work on slowing down his game to get his speed under control.
The 5-foot-11, righthanded hitter struck out nearly 23% of the time and felt that his contact could improve if his pitch recognition did. He found high pitches too tantalizing and had to dial down his swing.
One of the drills he did was tracking pitches and identifying where they were in the zone and then confirming with the radar. He wanted to train his eye and then connect his swing.
He was able to level out a swing that had become an uppercut just to meet the high pitches he felt he had to drive.
“I feel like I didn’t know my swing as well,” Winn said.
But if hitting doesn't work out, Winn's ability to hit 98 mph off the mound could make him a pitcher.
“I’m going to do what I’ve got to to be a big leaguer," he said.
— The cancellation of the Rule 5 draft could be an coup for the Cardinals, who will not lose slugger Luken Baker after leaving him unprotected despite the advent of the universal DH. Baker hit 26 home runs and slashed .249/.324/.530 last season, mostly at Double-A, and instead of a spring audition with another club will get a chance to mash his way to St. Louis from Triple-A Memphis.
— The Cardinals announced third baseman Jordan Walker and first baseman Juan Yepez as their minor league co-players of the year after breakout seasons in 2021. Lefthander Matthew Liberatore was named minor league pitcher of the year after logging a 4.04 ERA as one of the youngest pitchers in Triple-A
2022 Baseball America Prospect Pad: Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn Break Down Swing Changes In Pro Ball
Cardinals third baseman Jordan Walker and shortstop Masyn Winn sat down with Baseball America to discuss the swing changes they've made since high school, when they found out they were headed to the Futures Game, the toughest pitcher they've faced in 2022 and more.