PEORIA, Ariz. - Andrew Knizner showed an ability to hit during his first pro season and has continued to impress in the early stages of the Arizona Fall League.The Cardinals' No. 27 prospect has always had a feel for hitting, and he proved it once again as he led Surprise
PEORIA, Ariz. - Andrew Knizner showed an ability to hit during his first pro season and has continued to impress in the early stages of the Arizona Fall League.
The Cardinals' No. 27 prospect has always had a feel for hitting, and he proved it once again as he led Surprise to a 10-3 win over Peoria on Tuesday.
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Knizner, who is hitting .400 with three RBIs through five games, finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
"Finally starting to get my timing down," Knizner said. "It's taken me a few games to get my rhythm back and hopefully today is a little turning point and I can stay hot and keep the momentum going."
The 22-year-old was in the center of the action for Surprise as he singled in the second, drove in a run during a four-run third and doubled and scored in the fifth.
"The key is just stay in your approach and get a pitch you can drive," Knizner said of his two-out RBI hit in the third. "Just get a pitch you can hit hard somewhere in the outfield and score a run."
The Cardinals selected Knizner in the seventh round (226th overall) of the 2016 Draft and he raked in his first full season.
Knizner hit .279/.325/.480 through 44 games with Class A Peoria and was promoted past Class A Advanced Palm Beach straight to Double-A Springfield, where he slashed .324/.371/.462 in 51 games.
"I learned a lot about how to treat my body and figuring out a routine," Knizner said. "Once I got to Springfield, in Double-A, I really nailed down my routine and I think that helped me a lot on the field."
After coming back from a five-run deficit in the eighth inning Monday, Surprise staged another comeback Tuesday.
Padres No. 10 prospectJosh Naylor, who is hitting .364, put the Javelinas on the board with a two-run double in the first inning.
However, the lead didn't last long as Surprise, on the strength of a Knizner single and a two-run double from Kevin Padlo (Rays No. 28), struck for four in the fourth.
Surprise extended the lead with another run in the sixth as Knizner reached on a double and later scored on a base hit. The Surprise offense, which finished with 10 runs on 15 hits, didn't slow down.
William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.