Prediction #3 - Masyn Winn will be the starting shortstop by the end of the 2023 season
By the end of Spring Training, it was clear that Masyn Winn was doing everything in his power to put pressure on the Cardinals and find his way onto the roster. He was sent down to Triple-A instead, and began the year a bit slow, but later caught fire in a major way.
After tearing up Triple-A for most of the summer, Winn got the big league call-up and became the Cardinals' primary shortstop down the stretch. In my mind, Winn was going to become the starting shortstop and help them push for the playoffs, but he instead got the call-up as seasoning for the 2024 season during a lost second half.
While Winn showed flashes defensively and on the base paths, he struggled big time at the plate, slashing .172/.230/.238 with 2 HR, 12 RBI, a 29 OPS+, and -0.6 bWAR in his 37 games. No one should be panicking about Winn's performance, but even though he will enter Spring Training as the starting shortstop, the Cardinals are preparing for a scenario where Winn needs to go back to Triple-A to get more seasoning again.
The Cardinals are really excited about Winn though, which is why they were willing to promote him to St. Louis at the end of the year. They wanted Winn to get a taste of big league action, give him room to succeed and to fail, and allow him to take the lessons he learned during those 37 games and work on those things throughout the winter. He now comes into Spring Training as a player who knows what the biggest stage is like, and what he needs to do to stay there. That's a lot less pressure than learning on Opening Day like his friend Jordan Walker had to do last year.