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2018 MLB Draft Profile: Blaine Knight

It’s time to focus on second round possibilities, starting with Blaine Knight

Collegiate Control: If Blaine Knight drops, he will be a consideration for the 46th pick.
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We are off to potential second round picks. The White Sox will pick 46th overall, after compensation and competitive balance draft choices. There are a multitude of prep players projected to be drafted right before the Sox pick, which could provide an opportunity to draft a higher profile college prospect. It will just depend on which high schoolers are known to want to bypass college. There is a wide range of players to look at, but hopefully, a real gem will fall to the White Sox.

Who is Blaine Knight?

In the righty’s freshman season at the University of Arkansas, Knight started half of his appearances and had a 2.98 ERA. In 48 13 innings, he struck out 46 batters and walked 14. In his next season, he was mostly a starter, aside from one relief appearance, and sported a 3.28 ERA in 90 23 innings, with 96 strikeouts and 20 walks. So far in his junior season, Knight has a 2.78 ERA in 87 13 innings, with 86 strikeouts and 21 walks. He is six-foot-three and only 170 pounds, so he needs to add more weight when he gets into a professional development program, but MLB Pipeline likes his delivery right now. It is the opposite of Carson Fulmer, because Knight is able to repeat it, relatively effortlessly.

How does Knight rank?

The only mock draft that has Knight going in the first round is with Sporting News, who has him going 28th to the Astros.

MLB Pipeline Rank: 49th

What is Knight’s game?

To go along with the effortless and repeatable delivery, Knight already throws a mid-90s fastball, which grades out as a 60. MLB Pipeline has his next best pitch as something in-between a slider and a cutter, while Sporting News declares it as a cutter. That grades out as a 55. Knight also has a curveball and a changeup, and both are graded at 50. One of Knight’s better qualities is his control, thanks to his delivery.

What does Knight look like?

Why would the White Sox draft him?

Obviously, if the Sox draft a pitcher with the fourth overall pick, a pitcher is most likely not in play in the second round. However, with all things being equal, Knight does have a low floor. He does not have a premier pitch, and probably will not be a strikeout pitcher as he moves up a team’s farm system because he only has one plus pitch. However, Knight does have better control than most pitchers ranked around him. There is a lot of development and weight needed, but the 46th overall pick might be appropriate for a flier.

Why wouldn’t the Sox draft him?

Knight has not had a full season of work in college because his durability is questionable. Odds are, Knight would not go straight to Kannapolis once he is drafted, instead continuing a modest workload in Great Falls. Knight will need to put more weight which, in theory, could help him go every fifth day. However, because Knight does not work a normal amount, his velocity would probably drop to a low-90s fastball with increased work, but his control would make up for the drop. Knight will need to learn to utilize his secondary pitches more if his velocity takes a considerable dip.