Cardinals' rookie Masyn Winn blazing a path to stardom

The Cardinals' shortstop Masyn Winn has quietly been having fantastic rookie campaign.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants / Casey Sykes/GettyImages

On a personal level, playing at Rickwood Field for St. Louis Cardinals' rookie shortstop Masyn Winn was beyond impactful. As someone who grew up idolizing players from the Negro Leagues, Winn was able to play on a field that meant so much for some of the greatest stars of baseball's marred past. When speaking of the gravitas of the situation with Ken Rosenthal pregame, Winn was clearly struck.

"My emotions are running high. I'm just to happy to see the players in the Negro Leagues get honored the way they have today. I'm sad it took this long, but I'm so happy for them. It's incredible. I grew up learning about the Black history in baseball, and to be here today to be playing on this field is an honor."

Masyn Winn

On a professional level, the game provided him a springboard off which to propel his young career.

Winn went 1-3 with a double, a walk, and 2 runs scored in the game at Rickwood Field, but he's been showing out all season long. His batting average was above .300 throughout March, April, and May. While June has been a bit of a struggle for the rookie, he still sits at .293 on the year with a 117 wRC+. Winn has doubled his home run total with month as well, so his power is starting to come into its own this year.

While Masyn Winn's offensive production has dipped slightly in the month of June, he's been able to show where his true value lies: in his glove. According to Outs Above Average, an all-encompassing defensive metric, Winn has gotten significantly better defensively. He accumulated -1 OAA in April, -3 OAA in May, and he now sits at +2 for the month of June. While he's still a negative defender according to this metric, he's shown growth these past 3 weeks. His 7 Defensive Runs Saved make him tied for second in all of baseball among qualified shortstops.

Among qualified rookies, Winn sits 6th overall -- 4th in the National League -- in fWAR, 5th in wRC+, 1st in batting average, 8th in slugging percentage, and 8th in steals. Masyn Winn is entering Rookie of the Year conversations that he wasn't previously a part of. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Winn has the 5th-best odds to win Rookie of the Year at +1500. He sits behind Paul Skenes (-125), Shota Imanaga (+230), Jackson Merrill (+350), and Joey Ortiz (+1100). Winn's eyes could perhaps even be set on an All-Star nomination after Mookie Betts's unfortunate injury.

The game at Rickwood Field allowed general baseball fans to see how much of an impact Masyn Winn has had both on and off the field. His bat is coming into its own, and his defense will always be highlight-reel-worthy.