Keaton Winn, RHP
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2018, 5th Round
LAST LEVEL: Double-A
VOLATILITY: Very High
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #34 Overall, #9 Starting Pitcher
2022 Performance: The Giants gave Keaton Winn a big push through the system before protecting him from the Rule 5 Draft. After missing 2021 with Tommy John surgery, Winn began the season in San Jose, and had a mix of good games and rough games during his time there. He would appear in 13 games there, 11 of which were starts, ending with a 4.87 ERA.
In late June, he was promoted to High-A Eugene, and he had a 3.16 ERA in eight starts there before a mid-August push up to Richmond. He finished the season with the Squirrels, posting a 4.15 ERA over six starts. Overall on the season, he had 125 strikeouts to 32 walks in 108 innings, holding batters to a .266 batting average.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Winn’s fastball took a big jump in 2022 after missing two full seasons, one due to pandemic and the other due to injury, and now is a mid-90s fastball that serves as a plus pitch. He pairs it with a splitter that he uses like a changeup, which is his swing-and-miss pitch. He also has a fringy slider that could still improve. Winn also works with above-average control, though he had struggles as he adjusted to his new fastball velocity early in the season.
Where Winn has some weakness in that he’s still a bit unpolished despite being 24. Part of that comes from missing two full seasons, and that really showed as his stamina waned late in the year. The other side for him is that his pitch compliment is still pretty new to him, as he learns how to work with and off of his new plus velocity and still needs work to add in the slider to his pitch arsenal effectively.
2023 Outlook: Winn should return to Richmond, where his workload will be a big key for him.
Future Profile: A lot of the time, when a pitcher gets protected in the Rule 5 draft, I’m tempted to project him as a reliever as his timeline to make the big leagues get accelerated. But since Winn finished the season at Double-A, he’s got a reasonable shot to stick as a starter, where he has the likely ceiling of a back-end rotation guy, even with his velocity. However, if his slider doesn’t develop, Winn does have significant reliever risk, where his velocity could play up more.