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Cardinals Rookie Shortstop Earning Permanent Role

It’s been a great start to the season for St. Louis Cardinals Masyn Winn, who is making the case to be the team’s permanent solution at shortstop going forward. Winn has started 14 of the Cardinals’ 18 games in 2024 and has batted for a .362 average with a .886 OPS.

Cardinals Rookie Shortstop Earning A Permanent Role

In Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics, Winn made his presence felt in the lineup without a hit. Winn drove in the game-tying run in the 6th inning with a sacrifice fly. In the 3rd inning Winn walked — one of his two BB in the game — stole second base and came around to score the Cardinals first run of the game.

“You have a guy that in the Spring we were talking about he needs to be more patient, he needs to control the strike zone a little better, and we are seeing all of that right now,” said Cardinals Manager Oli Marmol after Tuesday’s game. “He’s taking his base hits, he’s taking his shots when he needs to, he’s taking his walks, today was a really good day for him. But then running the bases I mean out the blocks he’s quick. He’s just playing the game the right way. He’s bringing a lot of energy to this club right now.”


Winn’s contact and plate discipline have been highlights. According to Baseball Savant, he has the 16th lowest whiff percentage in the MLB at 14%. He is also 18th in the league for his sweet spot percentage, finding an optimal launch angle 43.9% of the time he makes contact.

A Step Up From His First MLB Run

While Winn has his rookie eligibility through 2024, the shortstop got an extended run last season with the Cardinals. In his first run with the team, he batted .172 in 37 games. Winn slugged just .238 and had an on-base percentage of .230 in that time. In a shorter sample size in 2024, all his batting metrics are nearly double what they were in 2023.

Winn turned 22 just before the start of the 2024 season. He was drafted in the second round of the 2020 MLB Amateur draft.

Getting on base and threatening for extra bases has been a calling card for him. He has an on-base percentage of .396 and is slugging .489. Fellow Cardinal shortstop Brandon Crawford has stolen four starts from Winn this season. Crawford is batting for just a .091 average in his plate appearances. Winn’s success and Crawford’s struggles will make it harder for Marmol to keep Winn out of the starting lineup.

Dazzling Arm Strength And Speed

One of the highlights of Winn’s game is his arm strength. He ranks third among infielders in average throw speed at 92.4 mph. Just behind Elly De La Cruz and Casey Schmitt. His defense has been one of the most impressive parts of his game to the team.

“I don’t think he’s ever lacked confidence defensively; he knows exactly who he is out there he’s done a nice job man. I mean this kid is sliding all over the field making unbelievable plays,” Marmol said after the Cardinals 5-3 loss on April, 9. “It’s impressive to watch him every day because he’s under control, but he’s explosive.”

Winn also boasts a 28.4 ft/s sprint speed, which, according to Baseball Savant, is good for seventh among shortstops in the MLB.



Main Photo Credits: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


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