8 Cardinals who are outperforming projections this year

A quarter mark into the season, several Cardinals are outperforming their projections.
St. Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics
St. Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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Masyn Winn

Shortstop Masyn Winn was given the keys to the starting position this spring for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has taken them and run to start the season.

We knew Winn's defense would be superb. What's been pleasantly surprising has been his offense. No one expected Masyn Winn to show up and hit tens of home runs or have exit velocities at the top of the league. What he's done thus far has been getting on base, stealing bags, and putting pressure on the defense. He just so happens to be doing that at an above-average rate.

Winn's 104 OPS+ places him above league average offensively, particularly amongst shortstops. He has a .280/.341/.364 slash line. While one would hope for more power from the righty, the batting average is right where we need it to be. According to fWAR, Winn currently sits at 11th among all rookies. His defense actually grades out negatively on FanGraphs, though fWAR values defensive positioning heavily. Winn has not needed to stretch to his right very often because he has a Gold Glove collector in Nolan Arenado there.

Winn's projections expected much less out of the rookie. He had a projected slash line of .243/.301/.374 for an OPS+ of 88. While his slugging is close, Winn has been able to hit for average at a rate similar to what he did in 2023 at Memphis. Winn has 7 stolen bases a quarter of the way through the season, and he was projected for just 16. At this rate, Winn will almost double his stolen base projections.

Masyn Winn has outperformed his preseason projections across the board. While some metrics aren't very high on his defense, he certainly passes the eye test.