Top prospects Andrew Knizner of the Cardinals and Luis Ortiz of the Brewers have been named replacements for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Nationals Park in Washington.Knizner will take the spot of A's catcher Sean Murphy, who was placed on the disabled list on Monday. The right-hander
Top prospects Andrew Knizner of the Cardinals and Luis Ortiz of the Brewers have been named replacements for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Nationals Park in Washington.
Knizner will take the spot of A's catcher Sean Murphy, who was placed on the disabled list on Monday. The right-hander Ortiz will fill in for righty Forrest Whitley of the Astros, who left his start on Monday with an injury.
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Knizner, 23, is ranked the Cards' No. 5 prospect, and is hitting .318/.386/.430 between stints at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. Power may be the last raw tool that eludes him as he continues his ascent toward the Majors; he has just three homers in 223 at-bats this year. Knizner spent three weeks with Memphis earlier this season -- the first time he's reached that level -- when Carson Kelly was called up to St. Louis to fill in while Yadier Molina recovered from emergency surgery following a pelvic injury. In that stretch, Knizer impressed with a .333/.400/.444 line.
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Taken with what was touted as a sneaky solid pick in the seventh round in 2016 by St. Louis, Knizner had his true break out during the Arizona Fall League last season.
Ortiz, 22, is Milwaukee's No. 4 prospect, and remains at Double-A Biloxi as he works toward a season in full health after battling forearm and hamstring issues early in his young career. He's on his way to exceeding the career-high 94 1/3 innings this year, now at 49 frames with a career-high 4.41 ERA across 12 outings. He also has 51 strikeouts and a 1.235 WHIP.
Ortiz, who was drafted by the Rangers with the 30th overall pick in 2014 and came over in the Jonathan Lucroy trade with Texas in 2016, got his first glimpse of Spring Training with the big league club this year. Scouting reports indicate that if Ortiz can remain healthy and condition his body to fully exploit his 6-foot-3 frame, he has the potential to be a No. 3 starter in a big league rotation.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.