Following standout starts to the 2022 minor-league season, a trio of top Cardinals prospects received promotions on Tuesday that will be a noteworthy step in each of their respective developments and potential paths to the major-leagues.
Shortstop prospect Masyn Winn and pitching prospects Michael McGreevy and Gordon Graceffo were transferred from Class High-A Peoria to Class AA Springfield on Tuesday, setting up each of their first tests of minor-league baseball at the Double-A level.
In his second season with Peoria, Winn batted .349 with 11 doubles, seven triples, and 15 RBIs in 33 games. Through the first two months of the 2022 season, Winn led Midwest League in triples and was second in average behind South Bend first baseman Matt Mervis who is batting .350.
Winn — the Cardinals’ 2020 second-round pick — hit .209 and had a .544 OPS in 37 games in High-A after he was promoted in late-July 2021 from Low-A Palm Beach, but was able to make adjustments coming into the 2022 season that he said helped turn things around.
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"It's amazing especially (after) how I hit last year," Winn said of his success at the plate during a phone interview in April. "I think I had a pretty poor year. Just coming back this year and making a few adjustments, and I am hitting well right now, so I'm hoping that keeps going."
Now he joins fellow top infield prospect and 2020 first round pick Jordan Walker, who is already off to strong start on offensive during his first season in Double-A.
McGreevy — the Cardinals first round pick in 2021 — and Graceffo formed a strong one-two combo atop Peoria’s pitching rotation.
In the first month of the season, McGreevy posted a 0.76 ERA in 23 2/3 innings, and was named the Midwest Player of the Month. Over his last four starts, however, the UC-Santa Barbara product pitched to a 4.57 ERA in four outings, but still pitched the sixth most innings (21 2/3) among Midwest League pitchers before his promotion on Tuesday.
Coming off a spring training where he was labeled the “sensation” of minor-league camp after flashing a fastball that touched triple digits, Graceffo leaves Peoria with a league-leading 0.99 ERA. Graceffo — the Cardinals fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft — threw 45 2/3 innings, had a 0.68 WHIP and compiled 56 strikeouts, all of which were good enough for second on the Midwest League pitching leaderboards.
The duo of McGreevy and Graceffo combined to walk a total of eighth batters, and were tied for the league lead with a 0.79 walks per nine innings.
"It's been a pretty good 1-2 punch to say the least," McGreevy said during a phone interview in April. "Gordon is a great pitcher. I really like watching him pitch (and) going about his business. We kind of pitch differently. He's more of a power pitcher who kind of gets a ton of strikeouts, and I'm more of a beat the ball on the ground kind of guy. I'll still get my strikeouts, but me and him together seems like it works pretty well."
Mills transferred to Peoria; Nunez returned to complex roster
Right-hander Zane Mills was promoted from Palm Beach to Peoria amid Tuesday’s Cardinals minor-league roster moves. Mills, a fourth-round Cardinals draft pick in 2021, posted a 3.48 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. Prior to the start of May, Mills went 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 24 1/3 innings across his four starts in April.
Among the other roster moves, hard-throwing righty Edwin Nunez was returned to the Florida Complex League after stuggling with his command. He allowed nine runs in 6 2/3 innings, walked 11 batters, hit one and threw five wild pitches in his first five outings of the 2022 season.
Others prospects on the move
- Catcher Jake Burns, left-handed pitcher Nelfri Contreras and righty Andrew Marrero were transferred to Palm Beach from the Cardinals’ complex roster. Outfielder Matt Chamberlain was transferred from Peoria to Palm Beach.
- Righty Andre Granilllo and infielder Ramon Mendoza were promoted from Palm Beach to Peoria along with Mills, while outfielder Todd Lott was transferred from Springfield to Peoria.
- Outfielder Justin Toerner was transferred from Class AAA Memphis to Springfield.
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