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  • Twins Spotlight: Episode 40 (Josh Winder)


    Seth Stohs

    If there was a breakout pitcher in the Minnesota Twins minor league system over the past 12 months, it has been right-hander Josh Winder. And today, he is the guest on an all-new Twins Spotlight. 

    Join us live today at 12:00 pm (central) and send us your questions on the Twins Daily social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages. 

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge

    Twins Video

    Virginia Military Institute has had a solid college baseball program at times, but if Twins right-handed pitching prospect Josh Winder makes it up to the big leagues, he will become just the third player in school history to do so. The most recent, pitcher Reed Garrett, pitched in 13 games for the 2019 Detroit Tigers. He has spent the past two seasons pitching in Japan. 

    Winder was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2018. He went 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA in nine starts for Elizabethton that summer. In 2019, he moved up to Cedar Rapids, and while several of his teammates were promoted to Ft. Myers, Winder spent the whole season in Iowa. In 21 starts, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 125 2/3 innings. 

    Then came 2020. The pandemic. A lost season. 

    However, it is clear that Winder took advantage of his time. When he reported to Instructional League, coaches took notice. Ramon Borrego, who would be his 2021 manager in Wichita, was in Ft. Myers for Instructs. This spring when asked about Winder he said, "The first impression that he gave me... they (the organization's reports) say he throws a slider and a fastball 90-93. When I saw him throwing to the mound and he was hitting 97-98, I was like "Oh my god!" Really good frame, strong guy, really hard working. I remember talking to Alex Hassan and saying 'This guy can be really good!' He's a really good competitor and has a very good slider."

    Those quotes came after he made just one start in Wichita. He went 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA over ten starts with the Wind Surge. In 54 2/3 innings, he walked just 10 and struck out 65 batters. He was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul and started with six no-hit innings in his first outing. He represented the Twins in the Futures Game in Denver, pitching for manager LaTroy Hawkins. Unfortunately, just four starts into his stint with the Saints, he was shut down with some shoulder tightness, ending his season. 

    He rehabbed in Ft. Myers and is now back home for his offseason. We'll find out what else he is up to and how he feels about his season, about his progress, and his goals as he looks forward to the 2022 season. And later this month, he's a lock to be added to the Twins 40-man roster. 

    Join us as we go live at 12:00 pm central time. You can participate by sending your questions. We'll cover a ton of topics over about 20-25 minutes.

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    Please watch LIVE today at 12:00 pm (central time) on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. You can even ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. 

    Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts.

    For more on Josh Winder: 
         Follow him on Instagram at @j.winder36.
         Click here for Twins Daily articles on Josh Winder

    Previous Episodes
    Click here to see more previous episodes of Twins Spotlight.

    Episode 36: Jose Miranda 
    Episode 37: Kala'i Rosario 
    Episode 38: Bailey Ober 
    Episode 39: Simeon Woods Richardson 

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    This will be the first interview I will be able to watch live, Seth.

    My biggest question is related to learning more about his injury and why he was shut down.  Was it more of their being careful and not pushing him seeing he hadn't pitched at all in 2019?  Or was there a real injury?  If so, how is it healing?

    Watched this kid in most of his starts (MiLB tv) while in Wichita, hands down was the best pitcher in the organization, IMO.  Looking forward to it, Seth.

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    Thank you Seth.

    What a well-spoken, intelligent young man. He just looks like a pitcher - big sloping shoulders. When Josh used his hands while speaking a couple of times I couldn't help but notice the size of those mitts. It also made me curious to know how he or other pitchers gripped their various pitches. Finally, it is interesting how pitchers will often have success with a pitch (curveball for Winder) when young and then need to rediscover that pitch as they develop in the pro game. I never understood that. I had a fantastic curveball as a kid and a mediocre fastball and never got that curve back even though i pitched into my 50s with minimal success. Fun interview.

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