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What to Expect From Masyn Winn

I look at Winn’s Triple-A metrics to give us an idea of how he may profile in the majors.

MLB: New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In a lost season, I can’t think of anything more exciting than watching Masyn Winn play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

He was called up with exactly 45 days left in the season, so now all the Cardinals have to do is keep him under 130 at-bats the rest of the season for him to retain his rookie eligibility for next year. That’s important because if he would happen to win the Rookie of the Year award next year, the Cardinals would get rewarded with a Prospect Promotion Incentive draft pick in the 2025 draft.

But that’s in the future. What I want to look at now is what we can expect from Masyn Winn now that he’s in the major leagues and I will use his Triple-A metrics to help us determine that.

Offensive Profile

I’m not expecting Masyn WInn to even be an average hitter at the major league level. At least not yet. I want to say that up front because it’s important to emphasize that his offensive game is still a bit of a work in progress.

With that said, Winn has really answered some of my questions about his bat this season. Previously I was worried that he may not have a ton of power and then he went and hit 18 home runs in Triple-A.

His exit velocities are nothing spectacular but they’re at least decent.

Masyn Winn Exit Velocities

Player Avg EV (mph) 95th Pct EV (mph) Max EV (mph)
Player Avg EV (mph) 95th Pct EV (mph) Max EV (mph)
Masyn Winn 87.8 103.4 110.1

I don’t have all the numbers to provide Triple-A averages so the best I can do to offer some perspective is compare these numbers to the MLB average.

In the majors, Winn’s average exit velocity would rank in just the 21st percentile but his max exit velocity would rank in the 60th percentile. That tells us that the power exists, he just needs to get to it more often. You can see that from his 95th percentile exit velocity too as the MLB average is 105.6 mph, more than two full ticks above Winn’s 95th percentile exit velocity.

That comes down to Winn struggling to find the barrel as his 3.1% barrel rate is well below the league average of 6.9%. The interesting part about that, though, is that Winn actually does a good job of hitting the ball at good launch angles.

Now, I’m hesitant to use the term “good launch angles” because a good launch angle depends on the velocity of the batted ball. If you hit a ball at 50 mph, a good launch angle is something negative whereas if you hit a ball 100 mph, a negative launch angle isn’t ideal. So I’ll revise my statement and say that Winn actually does a good job of finding the sweet spot, namely hitting balls with a launch angle between 8 and 32 degrees.

You can see that from his 36.3% sweet spot rate (3.2% above the MLB average) but you can also see it visually from this launch angle density graph, courtesy of Prospects Live:

Those two red lines you see are marking the upper and lower boundaries of the sweet spot and you can see that Winn’s highest density of batted balls falls right in between that range. There’s another peak a little bit to the left but you’ll notice that it’s still above 0 degrees.

This is a pretty solid range of launch angles for a player and, as you would expect, it’s led to 24% of Winn’s batted balls being line drives and just over 60% of his batted balls being hit in the air.

So really the let down in the profile is Winn’s inability to get to his high end exit velocities. He gets the appropriate launch angles needed for a high power output, he just simply needs to hit the ball harder more consistently. The final example I’ll provide is his 30.9% hard hit rate, which is well below the MLB average of 36.2%.

Good raw power with a swing that can loft the ball is a promising start. Now Winn just needs to get to his high end exit velocities more often.

So, what should we expect? Probably a little bit of power but not a ton. There’s room for him to add more power to his game as we’ve seen plus raw power but Winn just needs to turn that into in-game power.

And if you’re thinking that WInn already has in-game power because of his 18 Triple-A home runs, that’s fair. But keep in mind that his 18 home runs have come in a hitter-friendly International League environment in which Winn’s seemingly excellent .367 wOBA (note: wOBA is on the same scale as OBP) has equated to just a 107 wRC+.

That’s an above average hitter for the league but not that above average.

He had a .187 isolated power in a hitter-friendly league so we can bake in some normalization as Winn returns to a more normal offensive environment and then we can probably expect a further decline as Winn goes from Triple-A to the majors.

So, it’s nice to see the home runs in Triple-A but I’m not expecting to see nearly that kind of home run pace for Winn as he starts his MLB career.

Moving on from power, Winn’s bat-to-ball skills are impressive. I mean, the guy can really hit. He may have below average in game power right now but he doesn’t swing and miss a whole lot. In fact, his whiff rate is just 15.6% and when Winn swings at pitches in the zone, he makes contact right around 90% of the time. That’s good.

To put that in perspective, of the 318 hitters who have taken 200 plate appearances this season, only 74 have a better in zone contact rate than Winn. Granted, that’s again comparing major league numbers to minor league numbers which is always a dangerous game, but if Winn’s numbers translated 1-to-1, that would comfortably put him in the top 25% of major league hitters in terms of making contact on pitches in the zone.

And, for some perspective on Winn’s whiff rate, the MLB average is 24.8%. Winn’s 15.6% whiff rate would put him right in between Alec Burleson (15.4%) and Tommy Edman (16.6%, two hitters who make a ton of contact and rarely strike out.

Again, we need to see how Winn adjusts to the highest level but he’s a good contact hitter. Now that gives us a better picture of Winn. He probably won’t hit for a ton of power but he should be able to make a lot of contact. Basically, he’s a speedy contact hitter with power upside.

That leaves us just one more thing to examine - his swing decisions.

This is another part of Winn’s game that needs work. He’s regularly willing to chase pitches outside the zone but is actually a passive hitter on pitches in the zone.

There’s a lot of data in the above tweet and it gives us exactly the profile I described earlier. What I want to focus on now are the swing rates. A sub-60% in-zone swing rate paired with a chase rate above 30% is a bad combination.

When I look at the whole profile, it’s Winn’s swing decisions that make me think he’ll struggle with the transition to the majors, at least initially. Chasing MLB breaking and offspeed pitches will likely get Winn into more trouble than chasing Triple-A breaking and offspeed pitches and letting hittable pitches go by will limit his opportunities to truly do damage.

Again, I’ll emphasize that Winn is still young and definitely not a finished product but I would love to see him start swinging at more strikes and fewer balls. Attacking pitches in the zone more aggressively could helped Winn access more of that plus raw power that he’s shown while laying off pitches outside the zone will help him both strike out less and limit his weak contact.

Winn can make contact with almost anything, though that will be harder to do in the majors, and generally making contact on pitches outside the zone doesn’t lead to the same results as making contact on pitches inside the zone.

So, to round out the offensive profile, Winn has great contact skills with below average MLB power, but the potential for more, and poor swing decisions. That’s not the profile of someone who’s going to be even a league average hitter. That’s why I started this section by saying that I’m not expecting Winn to be a league average Major League hitter yet. I think an 85-90 wRC+ is perfectly achievable, though, and with his defensive profile, that makes him a valuable player.

Defensive Profile

If you found the previous section of this article to be a tad disappointing, then fear not. This section will fulfill all the wildest dreams you have for Masyn Winn. Okay. Not quite. But still, Masyn Winn is going to be a good defender. His athleticism helps him get to balls that most players can’t reach and his arm gives him the ability to get outs that most players can’t get.

That gives the shortstop plenty of leeway to make mistakes. Have a bad first step? Take a bad route to a ground ball? It doesn’t matter too much because Winn’s unbelievable athleticism and cannon for an arm can cover a lot of mistakes.

He may not be a perfect defender and he may still have times where he struggles with consistency but Winn is capable of the spectacular and he has a lot of margin for error.

So while I think Winn will be a below average Major League hitter this year, I won’t say the same for his glove. Winn will be an excellent defender, or, at the very least, he’ll be a good defender. And a good defender playing a premium position is a valuable player.

The 21-year-old showed off his range in his debut and while the throw was just off-line, these are the kinds of plays that we can expect to see from Winn:

That play alone was well worth sitting through a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Mets. The glove, the arm, and the overall athleticism are the best parts of Winn’s game and I can’t wait to watch him make highlight reel plays for the rest of this season and many seasons to come.

One more note before I close

If this has painted a somewhat pessimistic picture of Winn for you, it shouldn’t have. I do think expectations should be tempered but Winn is an outstanding player with a ton of athleticism, the drive to improve, and the ability to make adjustments and add to his game.

That’s why he’s a player whose improvement and development is worth betting on.

I don’t expect him to immediately dominate the major leagues but that’s exactly why it’s good that he’s getting his first exposure right now, especially since we’re well past the point of caring about wins and losses.

I do want to mention that Winn has showed remarkable improvement from the start of the season to this point.

Those are just incredible numbers that really helped boost Winn’s overall stat line after he struggled to just a .608 OPS in the first month of the season. With that in mind, I could very easily be selling his offensive game short considering the stark improvements he made in the last two months of the season.


I couldn’t be more excited about watching Masyn Winn play baseball in the major leagues. He’s simply an electric talent that automatically makes every game more fun. In fact, it took just one game for him to show off what makes him special.

There are lots of interesting long term ramifications from the Masyn Winn promotion but that’s for another article. For now, I’m going to enjoy watching him adjust to the major league game and show why he’s one of the most talented prospects in the sport.

Thanks for reading, VEB. Have a great Sunday!.