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    Josh Winder

    • Minnesota Twins - MLB
    • SP

    Collapse Explore Scouting Report

    • Bats: R / Throws: R
    • Age: 25
    • Rule 5 Eligible: On 40-Man Roster
    • Acquisition Method: Draft

    Scouting Report

    The Twins selected Josh Winder in the 7th round of the 2018 draft (the second process headed by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine) out of Virginia Military Institute. Winder spent the next two years milling around prospect list No Man’s Land with occasional phrases like “repeatable delivery” written to let you know his name can be forgotten. In retrospect, those rankings seem harsh, given that his 2019 season was more than serviceable. Winder tossed 125 2/3 innings at low A-ball with a 2.65 ERA, and a 3.44 FIP; plus he struck out then uber-prospect Wander Franco in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Heading into the mid-levels of the minor leagues, Winder appeared set to fly under the radar amongst people-in-the-know.

    Then 2020 happened.

    For most prospects, 2020 either knocked them off trajectory or at least shifted industry opinions to the negative; it was an entire year of development gone, after all. Winder went against the grain. He did not pitch at the alternate site, but some mechanical tweaks combined with a different workout routine netted him a few ticks of fastball velocity—an adjustment that adds to every pitcher’s prospect stock. When even a curmudgeon like Keith Law is intrigued to see you pitch, the game is tilting in your favor. Given this excess of previously non-existent attention, it would have been understandable if Winder fell flat in 2021, victimized by the weight of his own hype.

    That did not happen.

    Winder dominated AA to the tune of a 1.98 ERA. Over his 54 ⅔ innings pitched at the level, his 31.3% K rate provided the melody, while his outstanding 4.8% BB rate served as the harmony. Just five qualified starters in MLB struck out hitters at a higher rate; only one starter walked batters at a lower rate. 

    It’s not difficult to see why Winder was so good, I lamented the “repeatable delivery” comment before, but he easily owns one of the smoothest windups I’ve seen from a Twins pitching prospect:

     Hitters have to be prepared for 96 at the pits, a breaking ball dropped in glove-side, and a changeup gliding away arm-side. That’s an impossible task.

    After embarrassing AA hitters for a month and a half, Winder received the call to AAA, where he hit a minor roadblock. He started just four games which in itself is both a sign for relief and mild concern; four games is a sample too small to analyze closely, but he made such few starts due to a shoulder injury that ended his season prematurely. Those AAA stats—a 4.67 ERA, a 5.15 FIP, and a reduced strikeout rate of 22.4%—ultimately lessen his excellent 2021. In total, Winder tossed 72 innings with a 2.63 ERA, a 29.1% K rate, a 4.7% BB rate, and a FIP of 3.40. Amongst 251 pitchers who threw 70 innings in the upper minors (AA and AAA), Winder posted the 12th best K-BB% and was the highest placed Twins starter with those qualifications. Yeah, I know that stat is a bit of a stretch, just understand that Winder was unusually dominant amongst pitchers around his league placement. 

    When we were dicing out which writer would cover which prospect, I immediately leaped at the chance to post Winder’s writeup. His 2021 season greatly intrigued me—what soulless Twins fan wouldn’t find interest in a pitcher who netted results after improving their raw ability? There are pitching prospects with more impressive stuff, a higher ceiling, a more regal pedigree, or a more dominant individual pitch, but few, if any, can harvest a plethora of crucial pitching characteristics like Winder. He is, in many ways, the total package.

    Monthly Splits

    Season Totals
    2022 Totals 3 41 37 4 7 1 0 2 3 0 3 5 1.67 .189 .244 .378 .622 14 0 0 0 1 0 0 .161 100 82
    Last 7 days 1 15 15 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2   .200 .200 .400 .600 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 88 73
    Last 14 days 1 15 15 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2   .200 .200 .400 .600 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 88 77
    Last 28 days 3 41 37 4 7 1 0 2 3 0 3 5 1.67 .189 .244 .378 .622 14 0 0 0 1 0 0 .161 100 82
    Last 365 days 3 41 37 4 7 1 0 2 3 0 3 5 1.67 .189 .244 .378 .622 14 0 0 0 1 0 0 .161 100  
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/1/2022.

    See all » Josh Winder Articles

    Josh Winder to the Starting Rotation: A "Smooth" Transition

    Josh Winder is a solid pitcher. His talent and discipline make him a predator on the mound, taking down his opponents and making it look easy. He has been preparing for being a starter since he was a young travel ball pitcher. With the news that Chris Paddack is out for the remainder of the season, Winder may just be the pitcher for the job.

    See all » Josh Winder Videos

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