5 Cardinals who've shown great improvement through May, 2 who must improve

Cardinals have shown dramatic improvement through the month of May
Masyn Winn
Masyn Winn / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals have made a dramatic improvement in recent days. There's much speculation about what is behind the fire lit under this team, but it's great to see and we hope it continues into June and beyond.

The team is now 23-26 after completing their first sweep of the season over a young Baltimore Orioles squad, who had not been swept since May 2022. They are now closer to .500 baseball and a full game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in third place. It seems like the best baseball we've seen from the team in ages—or at least two years ago.

The most improvement has come from a core of young players who will be Cardinal mainstays for years. However, improvement is desperately needed from a couple of players who are signature pieces to this team. Seeing these young stars shine should boost the improvement of veterans.

Masyn Winn has improved

Management received a lot of criticism at the beginning of the season for how they were handling Winn. The team signed veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford to mentor and back up the young star, who has some lower back issues.

As time has gone by this season, Winn has gained more consistent playing time, finally showing some benefit. He hit his second home run of the season in the seventh inning of Wednesday afternoon's game. The home run traveled 375 feet at 99.8 mph on a 78.6 mph slider from Cole Irvin. The hit had a launch angle of 21, which indicates he is not trying to go up into the range where more pop-ups are possible. Winn generally hits with an angle to get fly balls and is getting good results.

On Friday, Winn had a homer travel 402 feet at 102.8 mph on an 83.4 mph sweeper from Cam Booser of the Boston Red Sox. The hit had a launch angle of 28 and was still within flyball range.

With a career-best 13-game hitting streak, he is getting on base more and contributing with his speed. Winn is a good case study for backing off and gaining a launch angle on hits.