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Andrew Knizner C STL

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STL Catcher, 23 yrs old 6'1 200 lbs. R/R. If you read nothing further, just know that all Knizner does is hit and hit very well. So far the "rankings" list across many sites don't give Knizner much respect. He is now ranked 5th in STL top 30 (Milb Pipeline source). He is not ranked in MLB Pipeline's top 10 catchers or its top 100 list.  So lets look at what he has done the past few years, and why I feel hes not getting his proper respect.  Drafted in 2016 in the 7th round.  Has 185 at-bats in rookie ball and bats .319/.492/.915. Shows some pop with 6 HR out the gate. Next season in 2017 he is promoted to Full A and again shows some pop and hits 8Hr across 179 at-bats before being promoted to AA. At AA he bats .324/.462/.833 over 182 at-bats. This season he starts in AA and is promoted to AAA after hitting .313 in AA. Small sample size of AAA numbers but again he hits over .300 batting .313 over 54 at-bats. So we have a C who hits over .300 at every level hes been tested at with some signs of being able to be a 20-25 MLB HR catcher who could hit .280+ imo. Also he has several Milb awards including a 2018 Futures Game Selection. 

 

Their is no catcher on MLB Pipeline's top 10 C who is a career milb .300 hitter except Knizner. Yes i know im picking on MLB Pipelines site/ rankings.  

- We have a June 4th 2018 article from St.Louis Post-Dispatch titled "Heir Apparent to Yadi?" about Knizner. https://www.stltoday.com/sports/heir-apparent-to-yadi/article_067c8611-6a41-5e11-b09a-c159f420e138.html

- Another article same site Aug 13th 2018 titled "Yadi's Successor:Kelly or Knizner?" https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/yadi-s-successor-kelly-or-knizner/article_8daed5f5-efa6-50c7-9e34-c433ba85f8a7.html

- July 2018 article titled "St.Louis Cardinals: Andrew Knizner is making Carson Kelly irrelevant" https://redbirdrants.com/2018/07/03/st-louis-cardinals-knizner-kelly/

I could go on and on with articles. I also am reading rumblings of STL trading Knizner maybe to ATL who needs a long term solution at C. 

Bottom line I feel the kid needs to be higher in all sites rankings and if you can grab him...DO IT!

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Nice. I didn't even realize he didn't have his own thread. I've rostered him for over 2 years in one of my leagues.

My anecdotal evidence for why I think he's a top-150, maybe top-100, prospect is that he seems to have a plus hit tool for a catcher (base hits + great plate discipline) with power potential (25 homers in just under 1000 minor-league ABs). I also recall reading multiple articles indicating he's an average to above-average defender; his caught-stealing rate has declined as he advances, indicating his arm may be capable but he has to make up for it through pop time and/or footwork. His bat is as consistent as prospect catchers get - way more consistent than Carson Kelly. But Kelly is the better defender by most accounts.

Offensively, I feel like he's the realization of what Keibert Ruiz could do with a touch less power. But I'd rather bet that Knizner hits more consistently.

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Incredible hitter. If the power (which isn't horrible) develops a bit more, he could be a beast at C. A total hitting machine. Called up from AA to AAA last year after hitting .313, and hit .315 in AAA. I think his bat is ready to play, but I don't see a spot. If I was another GM I'd pounce all over this kid, though I suspect St.L knows the goods when they see the goods, and AK is the goods. 

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Carson Kelly going to AZ in the Goldschmidt deal.

 

I hadn't thought too hard about Knizner because the opportunity wasn't great, but now it's there. May be behind Yadi for a couple years still but he now has every chance to be his long-term replacement.

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I've been waiting patiently for him in a 30-team keeper league. Hoping Yadi takes a break this season as my team is stacked and Andrew will fill one of my voids coming from the MiL.

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ehhh most likely another year or two before we see him.

 

cards are looking to sign a veteran back up this year so we wont be seeing knizer until 2020 at the earliest.

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On 12/17/2018 at 10:21 AM, crotchcrickets said:

ehhh most likely another year or two before we see him.

 

cards are looking to sign a veteran back up this year so we wont be seeing knizer until 2020 at the earliest.

 

Yep, 2020 I suspect. I think they want Andrew to continue to develop his catching skills, framing, calling games. His bat and arm are ready NOW, I think due to the fact he transitioned to C while in college and he has moved so quickly through the system, the Cards want him to really develop all aspects of his game. He can do that better in AAA playing full time as opposed to watching the indestructible Yadi play Catcher every day. 

 

He will absolutely be up in 2020, as Yadi eventually (you'd have to think) will begin to slow down some. Perfect scenario is AK plays AAA next year, makes the show in 2020 and plays part time while being groomed by Molina and then takes over the role when Yadi calls it a day, which may not be anytime soon.

 

 

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On 11/3/2018 at 11:26 AM, LarrysBraves26 said:

STL Catcher, 23 yrs old 6'1 200 lbs. R/R. If you read nothing further, just know that all Knizner does is hit and hit very well. So far the "rankings" list across many sites don't give Knizner much respect. He is now ranked 5th in STL top 30 (Milb Pipeline source). He is not ranked in MLB Pipeline's top 10 catchers or its top 100 list.  So lets look at what he has done the past few years, and why I feel hes not getting his proper respect.  Drafted in 2016 in the 7th round.  Has 185 at-bats in rookie ball and bats .319/.492/.915. Shows some pop with 6 HR out the gate. Next season in 2017 he is promoted to Full A and again shows some pop and hits 8Hr across 179 at-bats before being promoted to AA. At AA he bats .324/.462/.833 over 182 at-bats. This season he starts in AA and is promoted to AAA after hitting .313 in AA. Small sample size of AAA numbers but again he hits over .300 batting .313 over 54 at-bats. So we have a C who hits over .300 at every level hes been tested at with some signs of being able to be a 20-25 MLB HR catcher who could hit .280+ imo. Also he has several Milb awards including a 2018 Futures Game Selection. 

 

Their is no catcher on MLB Pipeline's top 10 C who is a career milb .300 hitter except Knizner. Yes i know im picking on MLB Pipelines site/ rankings.  

- We have a June 4th 2018 article from St.Louis Post-Dispatch titled "Heir Apparent to Yadi?" about Knizner. https://www.stltoday.com/sports/heir-apparent-to-yadi/article_067c8611-6a41-5e11-b09a-c159f420e138.html

- Another article same site Aug 13th 2018 titled "Yadi's Successor:Kelly or Knizner?" https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/yadi-s-successor-kelly-or-knizner/article_8daed5f5-efa6-50c7-9e34-c433ba85f8a7.html

- July 2018 article titled "St.Louis Cardinals: Andrew Knizner is making Carson Kelly irrelevant" https://redbirdrants.com/2018/07/03/st-louis-cardinals-knizner-kelly/

I could go on and on with articles. I also am reading rumblings of STL trading Knizner maybe to ATL who needs a long term solution at C. 

Bottom line I feel the kid needs to be higher in all sites rankings and if you can grab him...DO IT!

Knizer is seriously legit. His stats do the talking, but I got to watch him in Sprinfield around 2017 and he has that different "crack" sound squaring the ball up. He hit one to left that looked 120 mph of bat.

 

He's fairly quiet in stance and not a ton of movement, simple up and down with his front foot.  This guy is gonna be legitimate major league hitting catcher. 

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For starters, here's a 2019 in-season update at triple-A Memphis (he only had 17 games there last season): 20 G, 83 PA, .320/.386/.400 slash, 1 HR, 7 BB / 9 K

 

Just for fun, I looked up Yadi's minor league numbers to compare vs Knizner's. There's plenty to be excited about concerning Knizner.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting he is, or will be, better than Yadi. Yadi is a future Hall of Famer - period.

Yadier Molina: MiLB numbers only (baseball-reference.com)

  • 301 Games
  • 1165 PA
  • .280/.337/.372 slash line
  • 75 BB / 120K (6.4% BB / 10.3% K)
  • 14 HR / 392 TB
  • 294 Defensive Games Played at C / .989 FLD% / 45% (111/244) Caught Stealing

Andrew Knizner: MiLB numbers (baseball-reference.com) includes 2019 YTD

  • 262 Games
  • 1072 PA
  • .311/.374/.455 slash line
  • 78 BB / 127 K (7.3% BB / 11.8% K)
  • 26 HR / 435 TB
  • 202 Defensive Games Played at C / .994 FLD% / 47% (31/66) Caught Stealing

Obviously, numbers alone don't tell enough of a story. And we already know he's not the receiver Yadi was coming up. But with favorable reports on improving defense, an arm good enough to help control the running game, good rapport with his pitchers, and a bat that clearly has the potential to be good (at most positions) - I can't wait for him to get some time next season learning from Yadi day-to-day. And we all know that a lack of power numbers in the minors don't necessarily mean a guy can't find his power stroke in the majors - look at Lindor, or Yadi for that matter.

As a real life Cubs fan, I only wish he played for another team.

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As a Cardinal fan, I love the future of the catcher position for the Cardinals. His hitting has remained consistent at the start of this season, he's hitting .320 and has multiple hits in each of the last 3 games. Hopefully in 2020 if he is major league ready he can spend some time behind Yadi and gain some knowledge from one of the best backstops in major league history (I might be a bit biased being a Cards fan). This guy is legit and has not gotten the respect he deserves in prospect rankings. If he can add a little more power to his game, then he should definitely be pushing a top 2 or 3 spot in catcher prospect rankings.

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