Blaine Knight | RHP
Knight, 21, grew up outside Little Rock, and he wound up at Arkansas after going undrafted out of high school. He turned down the Rangers as a draft-eligible sophomore last year — Knight was considered a potential second round pick but slipped to the 29th round due to signability concerns — and, so far this spring, he has a 2.78 ERA with an 86/21 K/BB in 87 innings.
At 6-foot-3 and 170 lbs., Knight is lanky and the rare college pitcher with projection. His arm is lightning quick and he sits 90-93 mph with his high spin fastball and touches 95 mph. I have no doubt some teams are looking at his quick arm and skinny frame, and thinking Knight could be a consistent mid-90s guy once he gets under pro instruction and adds some muscle. His cutter/slider hybrid, curveball, and changeup are all quality pitches. Knight is extremely athletic and he repeats his delivery well, allowing him to throw strikes consistently. Put it all together and you’ve got a very athletic right-hander with four pitches, good control, and above-average ability to spin the ball.
In their latest draft rankings Baseball America (subs. req’d) had Knight as the 36th best prospect in the draft class. Keith Law (subs. req’d) had him 41st and MLB.com has him 48th. The Yankees hold the 23rd and 61st overall picks. There are no questions about his signability this year, so the biggest knock on Knight is his size and associated concerns about his ability to hold up under a starter’s workload. Everything else looks good though. Knight seems to be in that sweet spot where 23rd might be too high to take him, but he probably won’t be on the board for the 61st pick.