Knack, the second college pitcher drafted by the Dodgers in two rounds, had an eye-popping 51 strikeouts and just one walk in 25 innings in his four starts this season, allowing three total runs. Last year he had a 2.60 ERA with a relatively normal 94 strikeouts and 16 walks in 97 innings.
“It’s an unreal feeling to hear my name called after watching the draft last year,” Knack said in a press release. “I couldn’t be more excited to work with an organization that does so well with player development.”
He ranked outside the top 100 in most draft rankings, though Baseball America called him the best senior college pitcher in the draft:
What changed from the last three seasons in 2020 is the pure stuff. Knack’s fastball velocity made a big jump, going from a pitch in the low 90s to a fastball that bumps 97-98 mph at his best and is 92-95 deep into his outings.
“I think he’s the best fifth-year senior prospect since David Freese,” Jim Callis said of Knack on MLB Network’s draft broadcast.
This is the fifth straight year the Dodgers used their second-round pick on a pitcher.
The recommended bonus slot value for the 60th overall selection is $1,157,400. Given his rankings are relatively low — 109th by ESPN, 113th by Baseball America, 112th by MLB.com, 106th by FanGraphs — one might expect Knack would sign for less than that recommended slot, but that remains to be seen.
Teams have until Aug. 1 to sign all draft picks.