ST. LOUIS – One of the most anticipated moments of the 2023 St. Louis Cardinals season has finally arrived: Star prospect Masyn Winn is getting called up to the big leagues.
A shortstop by trait, Winn earns his MLB call at the age of 21 and is widely regarded as the top prospect in the Cardinals farm system. His 125 hits are among the Top 10 for anyone at one specific minor league level this season.
Winn has not only climbed the ranks of the Cardinals farm system through his hitting, but flashy speed, stout defense and rocket arm. He clocked 100 mph with a throw to first base in last year’s All Star Futures Game, one of the fastest tracked infield throws ever through MLB Statcast. He has spent the entire 2023 season at Triple-A Memphis working to polish all aspects of his game.
The timing behind Winn’s promotion is certainly intriguing. On one hand, the Memphis Redbirds still have playoff hopes in the International League, which could offer valuable experience and more everyday at-bats for Winn. On another, the Cardinals will not be pushing for postseason this year and could ease Winn into the MLB scene with lower-leverage opportunities.
John Mozeliak, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations, first hinted around the trade deadline that Winn could earn his MLB call later in the 2023 season, though was hesitant to offer a timetable for it. “You’re trying to balance where Masyn is and his development stages,” Mozeliak said via Bally Sports Midwest earlier this month.
Winn has developed a close bond with Cardinals rookie and fellow 2020 draftee Jordan Walker in recent years, representing a new wave of homegrown talent.
“He always has my back, and I always have his,” said Walker via Bally Sports Midwest. He said Winn was cheering on a bus when he learned Walker would make the big leagues out of spring training, adding, “When he gets his call, I’m going to have the exact same reaction.”
Winn produced a .288/.359/.474 slashline in 105 games this season with Memphis, earning Cardinals minor league player of the month honors in July behind a .359 batting average. He was just two home runs and three stolen bases shy of a rare 20-20 minors campaign.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, Winn was also drafted out of high school with hopes he might be able to hit and pitch. He earned some pitching opportunities with Single-A Peoria in 2021, but shifted his focus primarily to hitting over the last few years.
In a spring training interview with FOX 2, Winn reflected on his baseball experience and noted Cardinals Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith was one of his baseball idols. He’s spent countless hours watching Ozzie highlight videos and occasionally working with him to model his game.
The Cardinals have 40 games left on their 2023 schedule. With Winn’s callup deep into this season, the shortstop should be able to retain rookie eligibility requirements and contract status heading into the 2024 season.