One of the few members of the Class-A Peoria Chiefs that may have been unhappy with the team taking off Easter Sunday was second baseman Mason Katz
. After hitting three home runs in the first week of Midwest League action, the right-handed hitter had cooled considerably before enjoying his best outing in two weeks on Saturday.
That day, manager Joe Kruzel had dropped Katz to ninth in his batting order. It was quite a change from having been the number two hitter on Opening Day. To his credit, the Louisiana native responded, with three hits and a walk in five plate appearances. Katz scored a run and drove in another, his 13th RBI of the season in 14 games. On the Chiefs, he is second in RBI and tied for first in home runs with three.
While the average is almost surely not where Katz wants it, .192, his slugging mark of .423 and .723 OPS suggest better times may be ahead if he can strike the optimal balance between hitting for average and power.
In the following exclusive interview, Katz talks about all this and more.
Listen to Audio (5:30)
Coming soon: In the near future, look for interviews with Katz' teammates C.J. McElroy, Carson Kelly and Kenny Peoples-Walls.
Manager Joe Kruzel on his 2014 Peoria Chiefs
Pitcher Alex Reyes
Pitcher Nick Petree
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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The St. Louis Cardinals' fourth-rounder from the 2013 draft is playing second base in the Class A Midwest League.
The St. Louis Cardinals' fourth-rounder from the 2013 draft is playing second base in Class A