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D'Shawn Knowles Returns In Peak Condition

All the tools that make D’Shawn Knowles an intriguing outfield prospect—the blazing speed, the solid defensive instincts, the strong arm, the gap-to-gap power from both sides of the plate—returned in a sleeker, more muscular package this spring.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Knowles, who signed out of the Bahamas for $850,000 in 2017, did not work out at the team’s alternate training site in 2020. He spent most of last summer in the Bahamas and Florida.

Though he didn’t play baseball competitively, the 20-year-old was not idle. He added five to seven pounds of good weight and reduced his body fat to about 10%, which was something of a pleasant surprise for the Angels.

“You never know after a pandemic what these guys are going to look like when they show up,” Angels minor league field coordinator Chad Tracy said. “Um . . . there’s no sample size on players coming back from a pandemic.

“But (Knowles) came back and looks really physical. His body looks great. He’s in good physical shape. He’s bigger and stronger than he was before, with all the tools he had before. He used his time wisely.”

When Knowles finally resumed baseball activities at the six-week instructional league last fall, he earned rave reviews for his strong defense at three outfield spots, improved baserunning and plate discipline and ability to make more consistent contact from both sides of the plate.

Knowles has a clean, compact swing from both sides. Though he showed more pop from the left side at Rookie-level Orem, where he hit .241 with six home runs, 11 doubles and four triples in 64 games in 2019, he is beginning to tap into his power potential from the right side.

Knowles, who will likely open the season at Low-A Inland Empire, has outstanding range and the arm to stick in right field. He has also worked out at second base and could project as a super utility player. With improved bat-to-ball skills to go with his speed, he could bat leadoff.

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