The Cards call up Winn, the team’s top prospect with the cannon arm

ST. LOUIS — After hitting a mammoth 412-foot home run and producing another three-hit night Thursday, shortstop Masyn Winn — the Cardinals’ top prospect, per MLB Pipeline — is headed to the big leagues.

St. Louis announced the promotion of the 5-foot-11, 180-pound shortstop late Thursday night after a 4-2 loss to the Mets. Lars Nootbaar, who fouled off a pitch off his groin Wednesday, was placed on the 10-day injured list, making room on the roster for Winn.

Winn, 21, got the call-up after hitting .288 with 18 home runs, 61 RBIs and 17 stolen bases this season with Triple-A Memphis.

“He’s one of the most exciting players I’ve seen in a while, and I’m excited for him to come and we’ll get a chance to see that here,” Cardinals coach Oliver Marmol said Thursday night. “He’s an electric player, for sure.”

Winn, ranked No. 32 in baseball by MLB Pipeline, joins Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson as Cardinals youngsters to come out of the 2020 MLB Draft class. Winn had three hits in Memphis’ 6-2 win against Norfolk on Thursday, including a 412-foot home run for his 18th long ball of the season.

Walker, who previously was the Cardinals’ top prospect before graduating to the big leagues, said he knew it was just a matter of time before Winn’s talent took over, and he’s played well enough this season to impress Cardinals brass.

“He leaves down there [with Triple-A Memphis], and he’s been feeling really great lately, so it’s great to see him doing so well,” Walker said. “We’ve been through so many ups and downs together and to see him do his job now in Triple-A is so special to me. I’m excited to start playing with him again, for sure.”

Marmol spoke with Winn Thursday night shortly after the Cardinals informed him he was being promoted to the major leagues. Marmol was impressed with the response he got from the exciting shortstop.

“He’s ready to show up and he’s ready to win — that’s how I would describe it,” Marmol said. “Our organization has done a good job of developing all these young guys into winning players. We continue to see [Jordan] Walker is taking steps in the right direction and now we’ll see Masyn join him. You think [Lars Nootbaar] and [Brendan] Donovan, and we have some talented young guys here that will be here for a long time and will be a big part of a winning culture.”

With many of their players competing in the World Baseball Classic in March, the Cardinals got an extended look at Winn throughout spring training. Already knowing he had a strong pitching arm plus his defensive skills, St. Louis impressed with his advanced maturity at the plate and his ability to drive the baseball for extra base hits and homers. He was part of a complete package that Marmol was looking forward to working with at the major league level.

“He ran the bases well, put together some really impressive at-bats and played great defense,” Marmol recalled. “He deserved every bit of that call-up and it’s going to be a lot of fun watching him play at this level.”

Walker, 21, said he would be happy to help Winn make the transition from Triple A to the big leagues because of the close bond the two have forged over the years.

“He’s pretty much my brother — as close as we can be without being blood related,” Walker said of Winn, with whom he roomed last year while the two played at Double-A Springfield. “He was always so supportive. When I told him the news [that Walker had made the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster back in March], he was very excited for me. It’s always nice to have someone like him by your side.

“Masyn has every tool imaginable, so he’ll do great up here.”

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