May 24, 2024

Masyn Winn of the St. Louis Cardinals has had a strong start to the season and is vying for the team’s permanent shortstop position in the future. Winn has started 14 of the Cardinals’ 18 games in 2024, batting.362 with a.886 OPS.

Cardinals Rookie Shortstop Earning A Permanent Role

Winn made an impact in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics, despite not recording a hit. Winn scored the game-tying run in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly. In the third inning, Winn walked (one of his two walks in the game), stole second base, and came around to score the Cardinals’ first run.

“You have a guy that we were talking about in the spring that needs to be more patient, he needs to control the strike zone a little better, and we are seeing all of that right now,” Cardinals Manager Oli Marmol said following Tuesday’s game. “He’s getting base hits, taking shots when necessary, and going for walks; this was a great day for him. But when it comes to running the bases, I mean out of the blocks, he moves quickly. He’s just playing the game correctly. He’s putting a lot of excitement into this club right now.”

 

Winn has excelled at making contact and maintaining plate discipline. According to Baseball Savant, he has the 16th lowest whiff percentage in the MLB (14%). He also ranks 18th in the league in terms of sweet spot percentage, hitting at the proper launch angle 43.9% of the time.

A Step Up From His First MLB Run

While Winn’s rookie eligibility lasts until 2024, the Cardinals gave him an extended run last season. In his debut season with the organization, he batted.172 in 37 games. Winn slugged only.238 and had an on-base percentage of.230 during that span. With a smaller sample size in 2024, all of his batting numbers are nearly double what they were in 2023.

Winn became 22 shortly before the start of the 2024 season. He was selected in the second round of the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft.

Getting on base and threatening for additional bases has served as his calling card. He has an on-base percentage of.396 and a slugging percentage of.489. Brandon Crawford, a Cardinals shortstop, has stolen four starts from Winn this season. Crawford now has a.091 batting average in his plate appearances. Winn’s success and Crawford’s struggles will make it difficult for Marmol to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Dazzling Arm Strength And Speed

Winn’s arm power is one of his most impressive qualities. He has the third highest average throw speed among infielders, at 92.4 mph. Just behind Elly De La Cruz and Casey Schmitt. His defense has been one of the most remarkable aspects of his game for the team.

“I don’t believe he’s ever lacked defensive confidence; he knows who he is out there, and he’s done an excellent job, dude. “I mean, this kid is sliding all over the field, making unbelievable plays,” Marmol remarked during the Cardinals’ 5-3 loss on April 9. “It’s impressive to watch him every day because he’s under control, but he’s explosive.”

Winn also has a sprint speed of 28.4 ft/s, ranking seventh among MLB shortstops, according to Baseball Savant.

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