Jesse Winker

Position: RF
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Louisville Bats
League: International League
Born: 08/17/1993 (Age: 29)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215
B/T: Left / Left
Acquired: 1st Rd, (CRA, #49 overall), 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft (CIN)

Prospect Spotlight

Winker is a projectable everyday corner outfielder who presently looks like a better fit for left field than right field due to his fringy, but playable arm strength. I only saw him play right field in this two-game look, however.

Winker is physically matured, and has more of an offensive-minded profile, with a projectable plus bat and above average in-game power. He has a good rhythm at the plate and the ball really jumps off the bat with a hard contact-oriented, line-drive approach, and with the ability to spray the ball to all fields thanks to his quick bat and loose swing. Most of his power will be extra-base hits into the gaps, with his home runs being more to the pull side. He’s got good hand/eye coordination, and a good plan at the plate with plus plate discipline, and he knows how to work the count and fight off the pitches he can’t handle, and he’ll draw his share of walks. His high on-base percentages are consistent proof of that, with steady .390, .397, and .365 on-base numbers from 2015-2017.

Defensively, he won’t wow you in right field, with an average glove but fringe-average range with limited lateral quickness to get into the gap. From what I’ve seen defensively, his fielding ability looks more conducive to moving to the other corner-outfield spot. He’s also well-below-average runner (4.47 second home-to-first times) who is not a baseclogger, but who is also not going to be a threat to take an extra base.

Winker’s bat is his carrying tool, projecting as a plus hitter with above-average power and above-average on-base potential for the left-field position. His ceiling is that of a Role 55, above average, offensive-minded left fielder if the power comes on, and his floor is that of a Role 50, average left fielder if the power and average don’t translate. You always want to see more power out of a corner-outfield spot, but I’m confident he’ll hit for average, and he reminds me some of Christian Yelich (OF, Marlins) in terms of potential as a run producer. He could make it back to Cincinnati after the All-Star Break.