TCN 2022 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #5 – Masyn Winn

photo: Masyn Winn (Palm Beach Cardinals)

Opening the top five in The Cardinal Nation’s Top 50 countdown for 2022 is a dynamic shortstop who can also pitch in the upper 90’s. What is next for 2020 second-rounder Masyn Winn?  FREE report!

Masyn Winn

Position: Shortstop/pitcher
Age: 19 years old
Bats/Throws: R/R
Height/Weight – 5’11/180
Acquired: Selected in the second round of the 2020 First-Year Player Draft, 54th overall
Primary team in 2021: Palm Beach Cardinals (Low-A)
Finished 2021: Peoria Chiefs (High-A)

Prior Top 50 rankings – 2021 #8

Click on the above photo to be taken to Winn’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Link to Winn’s career stats

Jake Tweedie’s scouting report

(current grade/future grade)

25/40 30/50 55/55 60/60 55/50 45+
.242 .324 .356 .680 5 32 5 22.8% 10.5%
ISO wRC+ GB/FB GB% LD% FB% Pull% Cent% Oppo%
.095(A+) 48(A+) 1.46(A+) 50%(A+) 15.7%(A+) 34.3%(A+) 36.7%(A+) 28.4%(A+) 34.9%(A+)

Winn was highly regarded as a two-way player in high school. His ability at the plate and with the glove was matched by his ability to deliver mid-90s fastballs. However, the Cardinals have predominantly used him as a shortstop in 2021, restricting him to just one mound inning last season.

This may illustrate their plan for him in the future, but there is the potential to use him as a two-way player again once his bat is more developed.

At the plate, Winn has raw power that has yet to be untapped. He did blast five home runs last season, but his main ability seems to be hitting into gaps and using his speed to push singles into doubles and pick up stolen bases along the way. Winn stands tall at the plate and has a nice smooth swing, however with his size and frame he will need to bulk up in order to pick up more home runs. Refinement is needed with his stance and swing overall.

As a pitcher, Winn possesses some solid offerings. His fastball works into the mid-90s often, but he also a pair of secondaries, curve and changeup, that could be plus with more work.

His ability to throw well into the 90s makes his arm a valuable tool in the field. He can throw from shortstop to first with power, aiding him as a fielder alongside his agility and speed.

Future Value: 45+
Role: Platoon player/average everyday player
Risk: Moderate


Brian Walton’s environmental impact report


During his Texas high school years, Winn starred as a two-way player, hitting .410 and posting a 1.33 ERA with a strikeout rate of 12.7 batters per nine innings while throwing 98 mph from the mound.

Pre-draft, Baseball America wrote, “Pound for pound, Winn could be the most purely talented player in the 2020 draft.”

After the Cardinals selected him, Winn settled for a signing bonus of $2,100,000 – substantially above the slot amount for the 54th overall pick of $1,338,500. The difference was made up by four earlier under slot signings – Jordan Walker, Alec Burleson, Levi Prater and A.J. Jones IV.

In the summer of 2020, Winn was one a select few who could work out under organization supervision while the regular season was canceled. He was one of just two of the seven players who had taken by the organization in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft to be included in the 60-man player pool, joining first-rounder Walker.

While some scouts felt Winn’s pre-draft pitching was ahead of most 18-year-olds, the Cardinals primarily focused him on playing shortstop and acclimating to hitting fulltime with a wood bat. In Springfield, Winn predominantly played shortstop, as he reportedly preferred, although he threw off the mound the last two weeks of the alternate camp.

As a hitter, he has high bat speed, surprising raw power for his size and plus speed that plays out of the box and on the bases. Winn is an exceptional athlete, with documented arm strength, soft hands and impressive natural instincts at shortstop.

Others have noticed. In their 2021 Top Tools rankings, Baseball America rated Winn as both the Best Athlete and having the Best Infield Arm in the Cardinals system.

2021 recap – professional

The proximity of the Palm Beach club to the Jupiter complex, coupled with its reclassification to Low Class A for 2021 was perfect for players like Winn and Walker. High-potential teens drafted out of high school would normally have opened their professional careers in the Gulf Coast League.

But the alternate camp work in Springfield in the summer of 2020, against mostly higher-level players, served as a good substitute for a rookie ball stint. Winn apparently put in enough work in Springfield and in minor league spring training camp to progress to a Class A assignment with Palm Beach to open 2021.

As the two were drafted consecutively as prep players and fellow left side of the infield defenders, Walker and Winn are often paired together in reports. So it was to start 2021 as both joined the Beach Birds as teens for their first official professional action.

Masyn Winn (center) and teammates (Palm Beach Cardinals)

At the plate, Winn began his season and career very slowly, then turned it on.

From Opening Day on May 4, through the first three weeks of the regular season, the 19-year-old scuffled to a line of .141/.291/.203/.494.

To suggest he figured out Low-A pitching from then on would be an understatement.

From May 25 until his July 26 promotion to High-A Peoria, Winn placed in the top 11 in the Low-A Southeast League in these key offensive categories – all four slash stats (.303/.395/.449/.845) along with 54 hits, 80 total bases, 32 RBI and 32 runs scored.

In the midst of that hot stretch, Winn was named the Southeast League Player of the Week for the period of June 7-13. His highlight was a seven-RBI game on June 13.

His only real offensive weakness in Low-A was an extreme split. Winn pummeled left-handed pitching to the tune of a 1.120 OPS, but registered a pedestrian ,696 mark against righties.

Joining the Peoria Chiefs at the end of July, Winn was reunited with Walker, who had earned the same promotion a month earlier.

Masyn Winn (Ryan Dowd/Palm Beach Cardinals)

At his new higher level, Winn scuffled, with a .504 OPS in August and a .534 mark in September. His strikeout rate increased from 21.1% at Palm Beach to 26.0% at Peoria as he struggled at times with the elevated pitch. More concerning was his walk rate plummeting from a very good 14.1% with the Beach Birds to just 3.9% with the Chiefs.

At Palm Beach, Winn committed 24 errors in 86 games at short, but improved during the season, with just six errors in 30 games in the field with Peoria.

Another positive is that Winn became more aggressive on the bases in High-A while maintaining his high level of efficiency. He matched his Low-A total of 16 stolen bases in roughly half the number of games at the higher level. His success rate for the season was a very strong 86.5% and his season total of 32 swiped bags was 33% higher than any other player in the Cardinals system.

Stepping back, we must remember that Winn’s 2021 finish represented just the first 36 games at High-A by a 19-year-old.

2022 outlook

One scout cited a Shawon Dunston comp for Winn. Before taking exception to that, remember that the former Cub (and Cardinal for part of the 1999 season) played 18 years in the majors and was a two-time All-Star.

“He is still raw defensively,” the evaluator said. “And he has some holes in his swing, but his arm strength is a plus. Having said that, he won’t be a starting pitcher based on his size.”

For 2022, Baseball America upped their praise of Winn compared to his peers, rating him as both the Best Athlete and having the Best Infield Arm in the Cardinals system for the second consecutive year. BA also added Fastest Baserunner for 2022, as Winn displaced 2021 choice Lane Thomas, who was traded away.

Masyn Winn (Ryan Dowd/Palm Beach Cardinals)

Having said that, Winn remains in a second tier of top Cardinals prospects below the consensus national top 100 trio of Walker, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore.

While one can assert that Walker played well enough at High-A that he may be ready for Double-A out of the gate in 2022, I cannot project the same for Winn. Cardinals officials often talk about the need for a youngster to “play up to the level of his league and then go beyond.”

Winn accomplished that in Palm Beach, with a 112 wRC+, but his Peoria wRC+ results of 48 were nowhere near league average (100). Even so, it should not be considered a negative in any way if Winn returns to the Chiefs in April 2022. He received just 154 plate appearances to close the 2021 season, with plenty of time during the summer of 2022 ahead to earn that Double-A promotion.

Future outlook

These scenarios continue to assume that Winn will be allowed to advance to the next levels when his bat indicates he is ready. At some point as he moves up, his lack of competitive pitching as a professional could become a liability for him as a two-way player. After all, regardless of where he is assigned, he would have to hit and pitch against the same level of competition.

An alternative would be to slow his advancement down a bit and sprinkle in more regular mound work such that he would potentially fare better against Double-A hitters when he reaches that level, for example.

However, based on his usage in 2020 and 2021, Winn seems to be much more of a two-way player in name than in practice. Even if this continues in 2022 and beyond, and if later Winn doesn’t pan out offensively, he could drop back a few levels to build his arm back up and gain the mound experiences deferred earlier.

As a shortstop with more Palm Beach-like performances with the bat ahead, Winn could perhaps reach the big-leagues as soon as late 2023. More realistically, 2024 may be his season to first come up, which would still be prior to his Rule 5 eligibility that winter.

Could he use that extra bit of time to sharpen up his pitching and come out of the St. Louis bullpen semi-regularly, as well? That would seem to be Winn’s best case to deliver maximum value to the Cardinals.

Whether he is given the chance to pull it off and proves to be up to it remain open questions. Then again, a big-league career as a league-average shortstop only wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. It would surely be better than limiting him in one or both roles by expecting more from him as a dual threat than he can deliver.

MLB debut: 2024
Rule 5 Eligible: 2024

Our 2022 Top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects, grading scales and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the Top 50 countdown and 12 in-depth, follow-up articles breaking down the list..

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects for 2022

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