As Jordan Walker nears his official "graduation" from prospect status, all eyes will turn to the next elite position player prospect from the St. Louis Cardinals, Masyn Winn.
Winn came into Spring Training this year as one of the Cardinals' top prospects, and he somehow blew away all expectations anyone had for him. Many had questions about his bat and where it was at in his development, and he was a force both in the field and at the plate.
If Winn played for a number of other organizations, he would have made their Opening Day Roster. He was electric in all facets of the game and did more than enough to earn a Major League debut. But the Cardinals had strong depth in the middle infield, so Winn has spent the 2023 season in Triple-A Memphis so far.
Masyn Winn is showing development with his bat, and will surely make his MLB debut this season
Winn started off the season slow in Memphis, slashing just .223/.287/.321 during the month of April. Since then though, Winn has slashed .284/.349/.414 and just had his first four-hit game for Memphis.
Winn is now the 37th-ranked prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, and is really close to earning a call-up to St. Louis. I was a part of a Q&A with John Mozeliak a few weeks ago, and he alluded to a good bench marker for knowing Winn is ready was a certain number - an .800 OPS.
This makes a lot of sense, and Winn has been trending in that direction as of late. He has had a .763 OPS since the month of April, and he needs to see that creep up a bit more before he can force the Cardinals' hand. If the Cardinals desperately needed a shortstop, I think he'd put up already, but they can afford to be patient right now, and they should.
You might say "How on earth can they be patient with how bad they've been?", and that's a fair question. We aren't talking about a prospect here who is destroying his competition. If Winn has an OPS north of .850 and was making highlight reel plays every night, then yes he should be up. But having just turned 21 a few months ago and never playing at Triple-A before, I understand the Cardinals' patience here.
I would be surprised if we do not see Winn at some point during the second half of this season. If the Cardinals deal from their middle infield depth or experience an injury, he would be an excellent fit. September call-ups would be a fine time as well, as he can provide value defensively and as a base runner, even if he doesn't get to start much.
Winn is worth being patient with Cardinals' fans. Let him develop, and it'll be worth the wait.