APPLETON — The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (31-21) are having a pretty good season down in Appleton. They’re currently sitting at second place in the Midwest League West division behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
A key piece behind the success of the team is starting pitcher Brandon Knarr.
“He's been unbelievable really from start to finish,” said Timber Rattlers pitching coach Will Schierholz. “Every time he takes the ball you know he’s going to give you a chance to win and pitch deep into that game and he’s been pretty much dominant from that standpoint."
Give them a chance to win he has. Knarr is 7-2 on the year with a 1.57 ERA and has WHIP of 0.98.
“It's been really exciting with the team behind this and the way we’ve been rolling, it’s been exciting going out there and keep giving us a chance to win,” Knarr said.
Knarr was undrafted out of the University of Tampa in 2020, but don’t let that fool you, that was the year the draft was only five rounds because of the pandemic. He was projected to go somewhere in rounds 6 through 10.
“It really worked out where we’re at (with the Brewers),” Knarr said. “It’s always everyone’s goal (to be drafted), but everyone’s path is different and it just happened to be mine.”
The crafty lefty has a four pitch mix and if one of them isn’t working for him, the others have been doing the job.
“In some games you’ll see a lot of usage with the secondary, other games, a lot of usage with the fastball, but he’s been able to execute all four all season long,” Schierholz said. “Execution has been fantastic, so he’s just been in a really great spot right now.”
In 2021 he finished the season with a 4.35 ERA and his success this year is partially due to a few adjustments in the offseason.
“We worked really hard on kind of focusing on some little things in the delivery and changing the mindset a little bit on attacking the zone and attacking hitters and so far it’s been really working,” said the Timber Rattlers pitcher.
The other part of his success is his work ethic and analytical mindset.
“He loves to look at the numbers on the iPad, he loves to look at the pitch tracking data – helps guys with their arsenals, try to enhance other guys' arsenals,” said Schierholz. “Basically, one of the best teammates that we have, trying to get the most out of everybody.”
Safe to say, with the year Knarr is having, a trip to the Brewers AA affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi will happen in just a matter of time.
“He’s earned it. I'm going to be sad to see him leave. He's earned it. I can't wait for that day and (I'm) really excited if that happens soon to be able to tell him that he’s going up there,” said Schierholz.
Since this story ran on air June 5th, Knarr was promoted to Biloxi on June 7.