The Dodgers had two 2nd-round picks today — No. 60 and 66 — and they took two hard-throwing right-handed pitchers with them in Landon Knack and, one of my favorites, Clayton Beeter.
Knack, a 5th-year senior out of East Tennessee State, was a money-saving selection, but he offers a lot more on the mound than other draft-eligible 23-year-olds. He was a 2-way player in junior college, but he hurt his shoulders on two separate occasions and he gave up hitting. So the 6-foot-2, 220-pound righty focused solely on pitching, and his stuff took a step forward this spring before the shutdown.
Here’s what others have said about him.
Baseball America, Ranked 113th
“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. His offspeed stuff is more fringy at this point, with all of his secondaries flashing average at times but not in that range consistently. His curveball is his best secondary pitch at the moment, again flashing average at times. There’s some effort in Knack’s delivery and it’s not the loosest or most fluid one you’ll see, but he repeats it well and has a lengthy track record of throwing strikes.”
“The quality of Knack’s pitches improved somewhat when he gave up hitting in 2019, but he still operated with an 89-92 mph fastball and fringy secondary pitches. After a summer spent lifting weights and firming up his burly 6-foot-2 frame, he worked at 93-95 mph deep into games and touched 98 during the shortened season. He tightened his slider into a consistently solid offering, added power to what had been a get-me-over curveball and continued to demonstrate feel for his changeup.”
“Senior power relief prospect.”
“Knack is one of the more interesting case studies in players in this class, given his true late-bloomer status as a legitimate draft prospect. He had two very successful years as a pitcher at Walter State, a perennial powerhouse JUCO in Tennessee, and then pitched very well as a junior at ETSU in 2019, but did it all with outstanding pitchability than electric stuff. Fast forward to 2020, and Knack’s fastball velocity jumped from 88-92 mph to 93-96 mph, touching 97-98 mph at times with excellent command. His slider flashes plus now and he rounds out his arsenal with a curveball and changeup, both of which could project to average. He’s valued roughly in the 3rd-4th round by ability, but could be in play significantly further up the board considering his senior status and therefore potential as a money-saver. “
Sounds like he could be a fast-mover and not just a guy the Dodgers drafted to save some money.
Beeter might be my favorite selection since the Dodgers took Grant Holmes with the 22nd pick in 2014. I’m basing that on the reaction I had when the pick was announced: an audible “Yeah, baby!” (yes, I’m a dork) as the awful Matt Vasgersian read Beeter’s name.
I had Beeter No. 2 on my board … for the first round! When the Dodgers opted for Bobby Miller in the first round, I didn’t think there was any chance Beeter would make it to either of their 2nd-rounders. But he did, and I’m thrilled. Here’s a bit from my profile on him:
“Beeter works with a legitimate 93-96 MPH fastball that has touched 98 MPH. He pairs the fastball with two power breaking balls — one a low-80s curveball, one a mid-80s slider. Both grade out as above-average-to-plus potential offerings. The curvebal is a true 12-6 hammer that, reports say, are very Trackman-friendly (i.e., high spin rates). The slider is more of a 10-4 shape and has bat-missing potential. He also has a changeup, but like most draftees, he doesn’t go to it much. Still, it looks like it has potential if he’s willing to throw it more. At the professional level, he might need it — especially against lefties. Aside from the lack of a track record at Texas Tech, there are other reasons why he isn’t a boanfide Top 10 guy. He has some reliever risk because of a higher-effort delivery. It’s not overly violent, but it’s more methodical with some longer arm action. He has a quick arm that helps him generate velocity, but it could also lead to him having trouble repeating his delivery/release point. He’s athletic, so that works in his favor, but he’s one of the riskier players on my board.”
And here’s some of the Twitter reaction.
Clayton Beeter has premium stuff, but high walk rates. Multiple elbow surgeries (TJ). Very real relief profile. Strike-throwing improving. Stuff is loud by data and eye test. 60 FB, 60 CB, 60 SL. Very vertical over-the-top delivery. Arm lag.— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) June 11, 2020
Player Comp: Nick Anderson#Dodgers
June 11, 2020
Beeter is going to take a few bucks to sign. He’s sophomore-eligible, so he has a lot of leverage. That’s why taking Knack at No. 60, and saving a decent amount on the slot-recommended $1,157,400, could help the Dodgers land one of the most intriguing arms in the entire draft.
We’ll see what the Dodgers do in Rounds 3-5, but I’m already very, very happy with this draft for the Dodgers.