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2018 Rangers Draft preview: Blaine Knight

Taking a look at potential Texas Rangers draft pick Blaine Knight

Roger Dubuis Hosts The Excalibur Dinner During The 23rd Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie: Day 1 Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Roger Dubuis

2018 MLB Draft preview: Blaine Knight scouting report.

With the 2018 MLB Draft just four weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 4, 2018 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #15 and their second round pick is at #55 — they have no compensatory picks this year.

Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first two picks. Today, we are looking at University of Arkansas pitcher Blaine Knight.

Blaine Knight is listed at 6’3”, 165 lbs., and is a righthanded pitcher from the University of Arkansas. Knight was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round in 2017 as a draft-eligible sophomore, after he fell out of the first few rounds due to bonus demands. Knight will turn 22 right after the draft, making him older than most college junior draftees. Knight throws a fastball that sits in the low-90s but can reach the mid- to upper-90s, and has a slider that is considered plus when it is on.

Baseball America has Knight ranked #36 in their top 500 prospect list, praising him as being projectable and having a high spin rate on his breaking ball. MLB Pipeline has Knight at #41 on their ranking, as does Keith Law in his rankings. None of their mock drafts have Knight going in the first round right now.

Folks seem to love Knight’s arm, but his slight frame gives rise to concerns about whether he will be able to hold up as a starting pitcher. He throws four pitches currently, and while the changeup needs improvement, his repertoire profiles as a starter if he can physically handle the role. It seems likely that he will go off the board between the Rangers’ first round pick and second round pick, but I felt he was worth profiling since the Rangers took him last year, and thus clearly have some interest in him. The Rangers could look to grab him early at #15, or they could offer him well above slot money if he’s there at #55 in the hopes that his bonus demands will cause other teams to pass on him, resulting him sliding to the Rangers.

Some video of Knight is below: