While relatively small at 6'1 and 190 pounds, Josh Knoth is a crafty pitcher with arguably the best curveball in the entire draft class. Earning a 60-grade from MLB scouts, it boasts a spin rate of ~3,000 RPMs and will continue to develop. He also utilizes a 55-grade fastball, 65-grade slider, and a 45-grade changeup, the weakest pitch in his arsenal.
Players are often difficult to evaluate properly out of high school, especially pitchers who may run into injury issues after seeing an increase in workload. If things work out, he has the chance to have a long career in the major leagues, hopefully most of which is spent getting outs for Milwaukee.
The draft slot associated with the 33rd pick is $2,543,800.
You can read a brief profile about Knoth by Jeremy Nygaard here.
Baseball America's scouting report, where he was ranked 41st overall.
Knoth entered 2023 with plenty of projection arrows pointing in the right direction. That projection has already started to come to fruition, with Knoth becoming one of the buzziest names among high school pitchers on the rise this spring, a season that included a 19-strikeout perfect game. Knoth is 17 until August, so he’s one of the youngest players in the 2023 class. He’s an athletic 6-foot-1, 190 pounds with a simple, efficient delivery and arm action that he repeats well to fill the strike zone with a fastball that sits at 92-96 mph and reaches 98. That’s an uptick from where his fastball was last summer, giving him a power fastball and a pair of sharp breaking pitches. Knoth has long separated himself for his innate feel to spin the ball, with a sharp, two-plane slider that flashes plus in the low-to-mid 80s. It’s a swing-and-miss pitch for Knoth that he can spin north of 3,000 rpm and could develop into a 70 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. His power curveball is another pitch flashing plus with tight rotation that he can spin above 3,000 rpm. His curveball and slider can blend into each other at times, but he throws his curveball with power at 79-82 mph and good depth when it’s at its best. Knoth shows feel for a changeup with fade, though it’s a firm pitch that he doesn’t use much.
MLB.com's scouting report, where he was ranked 98th overall.
In 2009, Patchogue-Medford High School on Long Island, N.Y, produced a solid -- albeit undersized -- right-handed pitching prospect. He went on to Duke University and became a first-round pick of the Blue Jays three years later before developing into All-Star Marcus Stroman. There’s been only one other draftee from the school since then, in 2013, but as the weather warmed up in the Northeast, Knoth -- himself a slightly undersized righty -- looked like a good bet to break the schneid.
While Knoth is only 6-foot-1, he’s strong and athletic, reminding some evaluators of a young Lance McCullers with the way the ball comes out of his hand. He has a very quick arm with a fastball that has been clocked up to 96 mph, a tick up from last year, though it’s flat at times and can get hit. The real separator right now, though, is his absolutely nasty breaking ball. It’s a power curve that routinely tops 3,100 rpm and produces elite-level spin rates. He’ll flash a changeup at times, but it’s not a real weapon right now as his fastball-curve have been more than enough against high school competition.
Knoth tends to find the strike zone more often than not and should have average command and control in the future. There is some effort in the delivery, and that, along with him not showing any real changeup lately, does give him a little reliever risk. His strong outings this spring were bringing decision-makers in to see whether he was worth drafting early enough to sign him away from his Ole Miss commitment.
How do you feel about the selection of Josh Knoth?