7 issues to find out about Josh Winckowski as he makes his MLB debut

Red Sox

The Pink Sox pitcher has carried out effectively within the minors since becoming a member of the group in 2021.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Josh Winckowski makes his massive league debut on Saturday, beginning Recreation 2 of the doubleheader towards the Orioles.

Josh Winckowski makes his league debut on Saturday. The 23-year-old will begin Recreation 2 of the Pink Sox’s doubleheader towards the Orioles.

Listed below are seven issues to find out about Winckowski as he makes his first profession begin.

He was one of many gamers acquired within the career of Andrew Benintendi.

When Pink Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom traded Benintendi to the Royals in February 2021, he determined to accumulate a number of minor leaguers fairly than one massive leaguer. Winckowski was one in every of 5 gamers who traveled to Boston as a part of the three-team deal, which additionally included the Mets, becoming a member of Franchy Cordero and three gamers to be named later (who ultimately grew to become outfielder Freddy Valdez plus pitchers Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa).

It was really the second time Winckowski had been traded within the 2021 offseason. The Blue Jays traded him to the Royals two weeks earlier as a part of a deal for pitcher Steven Matz.

He had a powerful 2021 season with Double-A Portland.

After the 2020 minor league season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Winckowski began with the Portland Sea Canines in 2021. He went 2-0 in his first 5 begins, permitting 4 runs earned over 27 innings pitched (1.33 ERA) with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 26:9.

Winckowski continued to pitch effectively all through the Double-A season, going 8-3 in 20 begins with a 4.14 ERA and 80 strikeouts on 30 walks in 100 innings pitched. For his efficiency, Winckowski received the Sea Canines Pitcher of the Yr award for 2021.

Winckowski was recalled late within the season to Triple-A Worcester, the place he made two begins. He went six innings in each begins, permitting two earned runs on three hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts within the first. Wincokowski improved on his second Triple-A begin, permitting only one earned run on two hits, three walks and 7 strikeouts for a victory.

He bought off to a great begin in 2022 with Triple-A Worcester.

Winckowski began the 2022 season the place he left off in 2021. After seven begins with the WooSox this season, Winckowski is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA. He had a powerful first begin of the season, permitting one earned run on three hits, one stroll and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings pitched to assert the win over Jacksonville.

He is had a number of extra spectacular begins since his season opener. On Could 5 towards Toledo, he allowed only one run on two hits, no walks and eight strikeouts in 5 innings pitched. Two begins later, Winckowski pitched six scoreless innings towards Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, putting out 9 batters and strolling none.

Nevertheless, Winckowski had his worst outing of the season in his final begin. He allowed 5 earned runs on six hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts in six innings pitched towards Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Could 22.

He isn’t rated too effectively as a prospect.

Winckowski posted strong numbers in his first two seasons with the Pink Sox group. However scouts do not appear to carry Winckowski in excessive regard.

He’s ranked the twelfth greatest prospect within the Pink Sox group by SoxProspects.com. MLB.com’s Jim Callis Winckowski class in a similar place, putting him because the Thirteenth-best prospect within the Sox pipeline. FanGraphs’ Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin are a lot decrease on Wincokowski, ranking him 27th prospect within the Pink Sox group earlier than the season.

An enormous purpose Winckowski does not rank too excessive as a prospect is that almost all evaluators do not consider he has an enormous ceiling. SoxProspects.com thinks Winckowski generally is a multi-inning reliever with the ceiling of being a main starter.

“Could possibly be very efficient in a free function, through which his lack of takedown potential together with his fastball would not be an issue,” SoxProspects.com written in his Winckowski reconnaissance report. “Slider is lacking extra bats than his substitution at this level, however nonetheless not doing it at a really excessive degree. The margin for error is slim, as he has to depend on controlling his throws and producing weak contact. To remain as a long-term starter, he must make progress together with his command and enhance his slider to the purpose the place he may be thought-about a lacking bat pitch on the main league degree.

He has 5 lands in his arsenal.

Winckowski throws a four-seam, two-seam, slider, cutter and alter fastball.

Winckowski’s fastball usually travels within the mid-90s, however hit 99 mph in an outing within the Arizona Fall League final season. He shared with WEEI’s Rob Bradford how joyful he was to see his fastball velocity enhance within the 2021 season.

“Change definitely helps, however fastball is a tick or two this yr,” Winckowski said. “If I will be sincere, I feel he is been hit twice this yr. My fastball simply feels on an entire new degree proper now. I do not quit a variety of hits on it. Even when they get keys, it is not an excellent strong contact.

Winckowski throws a tricky change, which typically strikes into the 90s. The Blue Jays instructed Winckowski he could not be a starter throwing such a tricky change, in keeping with Bradford. Winckowski instructed Bradford that Portland’s pitching coaches left him to the problem of determining tips on how to excellent his change.

“Coaches may also say, ‘Nicely, Zack Greinke is throwing a tricky change. Nicely, Zack Greinke throws a 69 mph curveball in there and I do not. I do not do this,” Winckowski stated. “I’ll manipulate my slider to get somewhat larger typically, however even that goes right down to 83 at worst, however more often than not it is 86-87. So my entire vary hits 8-10 mph. However he is had a very good run this yr and I am trusting him somewhat bit extra and throwing rather a lot at him.

He typically attended Pink Sox spring coaching in highschool.

Winckowski is from Ohio, born and raised in Toledo. However in highschool, he moved to Florida and attended Estero Excessive Faculty, 20 minutes from Fort Meyers, the place the Pink Sox spend their spring coaching.

So, as a excessive schooler with massive league ambitions, Winckowski often traveled to camp for the Pink Sox (and the Twins).

“Clearly, as a younger man with the ambitions that I had, I went to Twins and Pink Sox spring coaching as a fan,” Winckowski stated. said to Bradford. “I by no means actually bought shut, nose to nose with anybody in spring coaching. They do their factor. »

Winckowski shared with Bradford that the one Pink Sox participant he met on these journeys was David Ortiz, crossing paths with the Boston legend at a close-by costume retailer.

He is a continuing person of Twitter, however for skilled causes.

There have been many instances the place younger athletes utilizing Twitter find yourself making headlines for the improper causes.

Winckowski is a frequent Twitter person himself. Nevertheless, it does not look like a giant tweeter. He is undoubtedly hiding, although.

In an interview with Christopher Smith of MassLive, Winckowski stated he takes to Twitter after minor league video games to see the very best moments from MLB that day. The 2 pitching strengths he seems to be for are Jake DeGrom and Gerrit Cole due to how successfully they can use their fastballs.

“The way in which they assert themselves with their fastballs and dominate with that within the zone,” Winckowski stated. “Mixing speeds are good and the strike location is nice. Clearly that is nonetheless an essential a part of baseball. However I feel when your fastball is enjoying on the degree it is enjoying, it opens up a lot. J ‘m attempting to sort of have that in my very own model of pitching. In case your fastball works, it opens up a lot for you. So I feel how they’ll use their fastball within the zone is what comes out the extra for me.

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