Cardinals’ shortstop prospect Winn hits triple digits on record-setting Futures Game throw

National League starter Bobby Miller throws to an American League batter during the first...
National League starter Bobby Miller throws to an American League batter during the first inning of the MLB All-Star Futures baseball game, Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)(Jae C. Hong | AP)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 1:17 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Though Cardinals shortstop prospect Masyn Winn didn’t have a banner day at the plate in Saturday’s MLB All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the uber-talented 20-year-old still found a way to turn heads with his ability in the field.

After Pirates rookie shortstop Oneil Cruz made headlines earlier this week when one of his throws⁠—clocked at 97.8 mph⁠—registered as the fastest recorded throw on an infield assist since Statcast began recording such data in 2015, Winn sensed an opportunity.

What better chance to show off his own premier arm talent than in Saturday’s event pitting the sport’s best minor-league prospects against one another in a big-league stadium?

Knowing the eyes of the sport would be fixed on its future as the festivities of All-Star Week kicked off in Los Angeles, Winn was eager for his moment to challenge Cruz’s newly-established record. Before Saturday’s Futures Game, Geoff Pontes of Baseball America tweeted that Winn had already thrown down the gauntlet, with the young player declaring to the reporter that he would best Cruz’s record velocity if he got a chance to make a throw in the exhibition contest.

Sure enough, in the top of the second inning Saturday, Winn got that chance. Good to his word, he left the big-leaguer Cruz in the dust.

Winn stepped into his throw following a routine grounder to short and fired a seed at 100.5 mph over to the waiting first baseman—breaking the Cruz record without breaking a sweat.

The regular starting shortstop for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals was drafted out of high school by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft. It should come as no surprise that he was a two-way player in his prep days, pitching and playing strong defense at shortstop as a teenager.

Though the Cardinals initially advertised intentions to allow Winn to continue on a path toward two-way stardom, he’s been used as a pitcher just once thus far in his professional career. Winn faced three batters in a scoreless inning for High-A Peoria during one game in 2021 but has been used this season solely as a position player.

You didn’t have to squint on Saturday to see that the arm talent for a future on the mound still exists for Winn if he and the Cardinals elect to pursue it. Winn earned a promotion to Double-A earlier this season for his work with a bat, however, as he compiled a .349/.404/.566 batting line over 147 plate appearances in Peoria. With Double-A Springfield this season, Winn is batting .260 with a .767 OPS. He also has 10 stolen bases in 42 games. Playing against competition that is, on average, several years his senior, Winn has acquitted himself nicely to one of the elite levels of affiliated professional baseball.

Winn’s good friend and Springfield Cardinals teammate Jordan Walker⁠—from that same 2020 draft class⁠—also appeared in Saturday’s Futures Game in Los Angeles. Walker, 20, is widely considered to be the top prospect in the Cardinals organization. He is batting .304 with an .878 OPS this season.

Walker and Winn each went 0-for-2 in their Futures Game debuts on Saturday, but figure to have plenty more chances to impress baseball fans with their talents down the road.