The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best run franchises in all of baseball. Routinely competing for championships and perennial playoff contenders, the Cardinals have also been great at drafting and building their farm system, which has been a key component in keeping them relevant contenders year-in-and-year-out.

In fact, the Cardinals were very close to trading for Nationals superstar Juan Soto earlier this month but instead decided to trust in their young, talented prospects. One of those pieces of the future is shortstop Masyn Winn. The dynamic Winn is blessed with elite range and a cannon for an arm. Winn is a two-way prospect who’s flashed his 100.5 MPH pitching ability as well.



But Winn knows he’ll likely make his money playing shortstop when he is called up to the majors. Winn recently talked about former Cardinals defensive stalwart, Jose Oquendo who handled a myriad of positions in the infield for “Da Lou” during his 1190-game career with the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals (1983-1995). He’s played every position on the field at least once in his career. Oquendo was a member of the Cards’ two most recent World Series championship teams (2006 and 2011) as a coach. He now serves as the minor league infield coordinator for the Cards.

He works with Winn often and wants to see the young talent excel at what he does. In an interview last month, Winn talked about working with Oquendo and how Oquendo pushes his players to work at getting better defensively.

 “You can just tell that everything he’s trying to teach me, everything he’s trying to get me to do, you go back and it’s all there in the videos of him doing it, like speaking the same language. He wants me — well, it’s not that he wants me to be like him. But he wants me to be consistent. He wants me to be defensively great like he was.”

 Winn is currently playing for Class AA- Springfield, after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft.



Winn’s Two-Way Ability Had Teams High On Him: But Some Wanting A Pitcher, Others An Infielder

With Winn’s two-way skillset resembling current Angels superstar and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani’s, teams seem to be split on what position they project Winn manning at the MLB level. Winn was named the starting shortstop for the NL in last month’s Futures Game. That was an eye opener and showed Winn why he’s in the position he’s in. 

 “I love pitching, but I’m here for a reason, and that’s because I’m playing pretty well at shortstop,” Winn acknowledged. “I’m falling in love with hitting and, especially, defense. Working with Oquendo has given me a lot of pride in working on defense. I’m trying to be good out there. And it’s a lot of fun thinking about the next play. I want to make a great play. I don’t want to be just waiting there.”



Winn Hopes To Follow The Great Ozzie Smith

When you think of Cardinals shortstops the first and last name which comes to mind is “The Wizard of Oz,” aka Ozzie Smith, who made the position look easy, even though it’s one of the most physically demanding on the diamond. Smith, a 15-time All-Star, and 13-time Gold Glove Award winner is in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of what he did with his web. His unreal, wizard-like defense. The guy was downright amazing. Winn’s aspirations to be Iike Ozzie and Oquendo can only lead to success for the 20-year-old. 

 In fact, the Cardinals like his development so much he’s slated to be called up in early 2024. 

With Winn moving up the ranks and Jordan Walker (Cardinals No.1 ranked prospect and the No.6 ranked prospect overall according to MLB Pipeline) possibly getting the call-up soon, the Cards have MLBbro talent on deck. The Cards are in good shape but still need consistent production around Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. That means Winn could see a call-up in late 2023, instead of 2024.

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