NC State Baseball
Former Pack star Knizner needs to step up if he wants the Cardinals catching job next year
Andrew Knizner was a career .300 hitter for NC State (2014-16). He also was seen as an elite backstop, with a strong arm and the ability to manage a pro pitching staff.
These are the reasons that the St. Louis Cardinals traded their other prospects at catcher and settled on Andrew Knizner as the eventual heir to Yadi Molina’s throne.
Molina has spent 18 years with the Cardinals and is destined for the Hall of Fame, but he’s made it clear that this year is his last. That means that St. Louis needs to start prepping the next man up.
That next man has been Knizner all season long. When Molina has gone down with injuries, its been Knizner who has stepped in. However, in the small sample size, the former Wolfpacker hasn’t shown much offensively.
Knizner is batting just .221 with 1 home run in his 190 plate appearances. And while Yadi is only batting .219 with 2 homers himself, he’s also 40 years old and one of the top defensive catchers in the game (still).
Knizner is going to get more opportunities down the stretch. The Cardinals are 5 games up in the central and a likely lock for the post-season. That means that they are going to have an incentive to rest Molina for the playoffs.
This could be Andrew Knizner’s last chance to prove he’s up for the task of replacing Molina next season. If he can get hot and regain the form he showed in the minor leagues, then its likely that St. Louis won’t make a move for a catcher in the offseason. But if he continues to flounder at the plate, there’s no guarantees.
Here is Cardinals coach Oliver Marmol talking about Knizner’s struggles:
In his 5+ seasons in the minors, Knizner batted .303 with a little pop. Add that to the fact that he’s always been a good defensive catcher, and you can see why they were so high on him. But it’s been over 3 years now and Knizner is hitting just .205 in the majors for his career.
Usually, when a prospect comes up from AAA, you can expect their major league ceiling to be their minor league average, especially for an experienced prospect drafted out of college. Their average can be expected to fall up to 30 points due to the quality of pitching they are seeing on a nightly basis.
Knizner’s .100 point drop from AAA to the majors lets you know that something is off. He’s had multiple seasons to get used to major league pitching, but he’s failed to make the adjustment. Now he comes into his age 28 season, a year where most players hit their statistical peak. It’s time he either adjust or be passed over.
Will having his back against the wall push Knizner to elevate his offense? We hope so, because if not, the once promising back stop could be destined for a career back-up role (at best), or head back to the minor leagues (at worst).
Keep an eye on him this final month of the season and let’s hope the former Pack star can turn things around.
NC State Baseball
NC State Baseball Rankings Update After Another Undefeated Week
The NC State Baseball team is now 7-0 through two weeks of play, going 4-0 last week, defeating Coastal Carolina 16-4 on the road in a midweek game, and sweeping Belmont at home this past weekend (11-4, 7-0, 7-1).
The Wolfpack remain ranked 21st in the D1Baseball Top-25.
The Wolfpack moved up 11 spots to #19 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll, up 2 spots to #20 in the Coaches Poll, and up 1 spot to #24 in the Baseball America poll.
NC State will host Longwood today at 3pm in their next matchup.
NC State Baseball
NC State Sticks at #21 After Opening Weekend Sweep
NC State’s Men’s Baseball team stayed put at #21 in the D1Baseball Top-25 after an opening weekend sweep of Wagner.
NC State also stayed put at #25 in the Baseball America’s new poll, and stayed put at #30 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.
The Wolfpack will play Coastal Carolina on the road this Wednesday at
NC State Baseball
NC State Picked 3rd in the Atlantic in the 2023 ACC Baseball Preseason Poll
The 2023 ACC Preseason Poll was released yesterday, and NC State is projected to finish 3rd in the Atlantic.
NC State finished 5th in the Atlantic Division in 2022, with a 14-15 record in Conference play.
NC State Baseball
The Doak is getting its renovation…and NC State fans aren’t exactly loving it
I was just about to write a piece about the Doak renovation going down.
Feb. 17 is right around the corner and #TheDoak is looking nice 👀 #Pack9 #GoPack pic.twitter.com/w64471DPFj
— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) January 25, 2023
But while I was over on Twitter, I saw a ton of comments on it, all of them NC State fans, and almost all of them critical of the new look.
Look, I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe it’ll look a lot better once it’s done, or maybe the grass will match up a lot better when it greens up. But right now, it’s a little jarring. Here is how it used to look…
And here is how it’s looking right now…
Doak Field renovation coming along. Sod and turf almost completed #accbaseball #pack9 #ncsu pic.twitter.com/SYKgmSQZhi
— Allen (@BigalnRaleigh) January 19, 2023
Again, I’m going to wait until it’s really done before I cast judgement, but I think the official tweet from the school marketing it and drawing attention to it, has people thinking it’s in it’s final form. And maybe it is. But I hope it’s not.
I remember this being shared a while back…
This shows grass in foul territory and dirt in the 1st/3rd baselines. So I’m not sure when this turf thing came along. And while we’re on the subject, aren’t we a turf management school? Shouldn’t we be turning up our noses at artificial turf?
Apparently, this is a thing now, where foul territories are artificial turf and fair territory is grass. Here is Mississippi State’s baseball field doing the same thing.
🔜 #NewDude pic.twitter.com/dCoqhCKxLI
— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) February 15, 2019
Can’t say I like it there either, honestly. It just seems like one of those fads. Remember when everyone was going crazy with field/court colors?
School with a grey field and school with a glow in the dark basketball court meet on blue turf. Winning coach gets dumped with French fries. College athletics at its absolute best. https://t.co/crEKoeLKbX pic.twitter.com/Bpeod50Sy4
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 4, 2022
Good time to remind everyone that Memphis’ basketball court should be fired directly into the sun. https://t.co/jXpDbPQ7Iw pic.twitter.com/htyMv4sAXD
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) November 10, 2021
The worst basketball court in the history of the sport. Thanks a lot, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/842T5CYmIc
— Craig Miller (@junior_miller) January 30, 2022
Did anyone ever really like those? Do people like them now? Have they ever gotten a recruit to come to the school? Have they ever scared a recruit away?
I don’t know. You tell me. I’ll hold final judgment, but things NC State fans don’t seem like they’re going to follow along.
Whoaaa! Whoever wrote this article needs to be given a Wolfpack ass whooping! This article is full of inaccurate stats, derogatory statements, and seems more like an attempt to to defame Knizner than to truly depict performance of one of NC States best professional athletes! . I am sure that Coach Avent and Coach Hall would not be happy that someone writing for the Pack Insider actually put this trash out there, too. Anyone ACTUALLY following Knizner and the Cardinals team would know that the video of Coach Marmol talking about Knizner was only a snippet taken from a post… Read more »
None of the stats we posted are wrong as of the time of publishing. You are just focusing on a smaller sample size and you know who is not focusing on small sample sizes? The Cardinals front office. We’re rooting for Knizner. We’ve written a ton of great fluff pieces on him in the past. But the truth is, he needs to produce down the stretch if he wants to secure the starting job for next year.