A Texas Rangers prospect whom I actually highlighted earlier this month as someone to keep an on during this year’s Minor League season, former first round pick Cole Winn has hit the ground running down in Double-A. Despite a shaky first outing with the Frisco RoughRiders, Winn turned around in his second start and looked rather dominant.
Across 5.0 innings of work, Winn recorded eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits. A performance that actually had some people talking about it on the ol’ social media:
Viewed as one of the top arms coming out of the 2018 MLB Draft, Winn hasn’t had the simplest of paths to Double-A ball. Here’s a bit of what I wrote last week about Winn’s journey to where he is currently:
"The organization’s top pitching prospect at the moment, Winn has had a rather unique path through the early stages of the Minor Leagues. He participated in the Rangers’ new “de-load” program in 2018 upon being drafted, a program designed to develop prospects without taxing their arms with excessive in-game action.More from Nolan Writin'3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan ReynoldsDid Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?Where do Texas Rangers prospects Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker stand after the DeGrom signing?Martin Perez accepting the qualifying offer looking like solid deal for the Rangers4 outfielders the Texas Rangers can still pursue this winterFollowing a year of the de-load program, Winn then debuted in single-A ball with the Hickory Crawdads. He went 4-4 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP across 18 games started.Keep an eye on Texas Rangers RHP Cole Winn during this year’s Minor League action.Winn was then unable to pitch in 2020 due to the league-wide cancellation of Minor League ball, leaving him in a somewhat awkward position here in 2021."
Despite the rocky Single-A numbers back in 2019, Winn has remained a highly regarded prospect in the Texas Rangers system. He still possesses a ton of that initial potential which saw him selected in the first round, and he’s yet to really showcase what he’s capable of over a full Minor League season.
If Thursday night was any indication as to what could be in store for Winn moving forward, we could be looking a potential rotation arm later down the road (2023 maybe?). We’re obviously just two starts into Winn’s Double-A career, but flashing high strikeout numbers is typically something that catches the attention of scouts around the Major Leagues.
In an era of baseball that’s become dominated by the ability to get hitters out via the strikeout, it’s pretty much become the driving factor in determining if a pitching prospect is special or not.
Texas Rangers prospect Cole Winn struck out eight during his most recent start.
It’s also worth highlighting that Winn is only 21 years old – still a “young” prospect in the grand scheme of things.
Like I stated in my initial story on Winn earlier this month, he’s someone worthy of your attention throughout the summer. The Rangers are going to need added arms later down the road if they want to return to a postseason caliber ball club, and thus far, Winn is likely a guy they’re going to be banking on in a few years time.