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April 14, 2014

Notes from the Field

Carolina League Notes: Wilmington vs. Myrtle Beach

by CJ Wittmann


Jason Knapp RHP, Texas Rangers
Got the back story on Knapp from Chi Chi Gonzalez and Cody Buckel. Knapp was originally in the Cliff Lee trade going to Cleveland, had two shoulder surgeries the next year and was cut by Cleveland. Has been out of pro ball since 2010, I believe. He met up with his old pitching coach at UPenn and started a throwing program. Paid for his own third surgery and started working hard. Since last surgery, Knapp said it took him roughly 16-18 months to feel healthy. Threw at UPenn for a full year and got noticed by a Rockies scout; explored his options and signed with Texas. He’s on a strict throwing program; every outing is 25 pitches or less, no throwing the next day after an outing, extreme running the next two days. He threw Wednesday during the day and I asked Chi Chi how he felt yesterday and everything was good. Knapp threw flat grounds from 45-60-75 feet yesterday; marked the first time throwing the day after an outing. The plan is to build arm strength until he feels 100 percent, then keep him in relief.

Big, physical frame; all of listed 6-foot-5 and 235; heard he’s put on 25 pounds since last fall; delivery comes with effort; hip/shoulder rotations are in unison and on time; arm comes through clean and fast from traditional ¾ arm slot; stayed over front knee and on top of pitches; stays tall through delivery, creating good downhill plane. FB 93-95 T96; heavy sink and downhill plane; broke a bat with it; ball jumps out of his hand; command was a little loose but showed good control; didn’t miss spots by much. Wasn’t trying to nibble; just looked like he was missing with his stuff. I think as he builds arm strength, the velo could tick up even more. I saw the chart from his first outing and the velocity was 93-97; good to note he’s held velo through a couple outings. CT 91-92; late, sharp break; comes out just like FB and then darts late; used it to get inside to lefties; potential plus pitch. CB 80-81; great 11-to-5 shape; two-plane snapping break; showed good depth and bite; strikeout pitch. Potential to be plus-plus.

Future Role: 55; late-innings reliever.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: W... (04/14)
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Premium Article Notes from the Field: ... (04/09)
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Painting the Black: Po... (04/14)

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