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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

John Knapp used his arm over five pro seasons, both in field and on mound; Made high-A

College junior John Knapp had a career year at the plate with the University of Iowa in 1986 and he looked ahead to the possibility of the pros, The Des Moines Register wrote.

Before he got there, though, Knapp knew he had some areas to work on, he told The Register wrote.

"I think I need to work on my defensive skills," Knapp told The Register. "Down the road, I would still like to play third, but I think I'm capable of playing the outfield. I think my arm is strong enough to play out there."

Knapp turned pro that year and he started out at third. But his arm did prove useful, as he eventually turned pitcher. His pro career ultimately lasted five seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Knapp's career began that year in 1986, taken by the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the draft out of the University of Iowa.

Knapp started with the Dodgers at rookie Great Falls, as a third baseman. He hit .252 over 64 games. He played 1987 at single-A Charleston. He hit .227 there over 133 games.

He then moved to pitching mid-1988. He played 68 games in the field and hit .197 at single-A Bakersfield. He saw 11 outings, three starts, on the mound. He went 0-1, with a 4.57 ERA.

Knapp arrived at single-A Vero Beach for 1989. He went 7-9 there, with a 3.91 ERA over 23 outings, 18 starts. He threw 8 2/3 innings in a May win where he lost a shutout bid late, The Indian River Press Journal wrote.

"I was close," Knapp told The Press Journal of the near-shutout. "That was the first time I've experienced that kind of situation, because I haven't ever gone nine innings."

Knapp returned to Vero Beach for 18 outings in 1990. He also saw 12 back at Bakersfield. He went 11-7. with a 4.22 ERA overall. He then went to Australia for winter ball and injured his shoulder that ultimately ended his career.

Knapp briefly turned to coaching before he returned to Iowa and went into constructing homes

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,863
Made the Majors:1,294-33.5%
Never Made Majors:2,569-66.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:324

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