Masyn Winn says he is “100 percent” ready when call comes from the Cardinals

* UPDATE: Cardinals promote top prospect Masyn Winn from Memphis, place Nootbaar on IL: CLICK HERE.

By Rob Rains

MEMPHIS – Masyn Winn doesn’t know when he is going to be called into the office of manager Ben Johnson and get the news that he is headed to the major leagues.

What the Cardinals’ top prospect does know is that when the call comes, he is ready.

“One hundred percent,” Winn said.

Winn has tried to remain patient because he knows the decision about when to call him up has multiple layers, almost all of which are out of his control.

“I can play the waiting game,” he said. “I’m not too worried about it. Guys are in my ear every day about it, but I’m enjoying where I am right now. I love the guys who are here. I’ve got a few boys up there (St. Louis) right now that I’m hoping I get to see soon.

“I know my time will come.”

It could be coming soon.  According to the Major League rules, for a player to retain his rookie status for the following year, he can’t exceed 45 days of service time. In the Cardinals’ case, that deadline will pass on Thursday – when there will be 44 days left in the season.

One of the reasons that deadline is important is because one of the provisions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is that if a player wins the Rookie of the Year award, the club will receive a bonus selection after the first round of the following year’s amateur draft.

The other limit that a player can’t exceed is 130 at-bats, but that is easier to monitor than the arbitrary service time limit.

“I don’t know too much about the politics of it,” Winn said. “I definitely think there are still moves to be made this year. When my time comes I will be ready for it.”

Another reason the call to the majors could come sooner rather than later was that two players, Tommy Edman and Lars Nootbaar, had to come out of Wednesday night’s game after being hit with a foul ball. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known Wednesday night.

Winn, 21, came into his start on Wednesday night in Memphis with a .284 average, 17 homers, 60 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 103 games.

It’s a season that has impressed Johnson, who says Winn is “pretty close” to being ready for his promotion to the majors.

“He wants to be in the big leagues but it’s not taking away from his focus here,” Johnson said. “He’s a hard worker, he wants it badly and he’s got a lot of talent but he also can help provide energy for the ballclub. He’s a vocal leader out there. He likes to direct traffic.

“You know he has tools. You know there’s a high ceiling there but he’s a leader too. That’s pretty cool for me to see. He’s always the first one to the field every day; he’s the first one in the cage. He loves the work and asks for extra work. He’s a really good young man.

“It would be hard to keep him here after that deadline.”

Johnson believes there is a benefit to a player getting his first exposure to the major-league level at the end of the season, giving him more of an idea what to expect at the start of the following year.

“It’s good to get time in September,” Johnson said. “You can kind of knock the dust off. You can know where the parking lot is. Busch doesn’t seem so great maybe the second time you visit.”

Winn admits that when the call comes, he knows what he wants to do once he gets to St. Louis.

“If I go up there I am going to compete to the best of my abilities,” he said. “I think in spring training everybody got a little taste of what I can be. Throughout this year I’ve tried to get into my power potential.

“I don’t know how it’s going to feel when I get called up. I might have some butterflies I think in my head it’s just baseball each level we get to.”

Winn was the Cardinals’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft and he would become the third member of that class to reach the major leagues, joining Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

Photo by AP courtesy of KSDKSports

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