Image courtesy of the Toronto Star

Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #27 Marcus Knecht


A smooth swinging Canadian outfielder drafted by the Jays in 2010 comes in at #27…

#27: Marcus A. Knecht

Outfielder / 20 years old / 6′3″ 210 lbs

Born: June 21st, 1990 in North York, Ontario, CA

Bats: Right    Throws: Right

High School: St. Michael’s College School

College: Connors State College

Drafted By: The Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round (113th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft

Jersey Number: #19 for the Auburn Doubledays

Quick Facts:

  • Named 2010 Canadian college baseball player of the year, receiving 49 of 51 first-place votes
  • Was a 23rd round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008
  • His last name is pronounced (kin-ekt)
  • Favorite baseball team is the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Considered himself a pretty good pitcher growing up, but was moved to the outfield by his high school coach
  • Favorite musician is Lil’ Wayne
Year Age Level G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2010 20 A- 61 231 35 62 18 3 5 34 26 48 .268 .345 .437

Auburn Doubledays Team Stats Ranking for Marcus Knecht:

  • 1st in doubles (18)
  • 2nd in hits (62) and total bases (101)
  • 3rd in at-bats (231), triples (3), and RBI (34)
  • 4th in games played (61), home runs (5), batting average (.268), and OPS (.782)
  • Tied for 4th in strikeouts (48)
  • 5th in runs (32), walks (26), OBP (.345), and SLG (.437)
  • Tied for 5th in stolen bases (7)

Interviews/Video:

There is actually a lot of video on Marcus Knecht, just type his name into YouTube. Here are two videos to get you started though, courtesy of Gerry McDonald:

  • Taking batting practice here
  • Flying out while playing with the Auburn Doubledays here

Extra Information and previous experience:

Knecht was a well-known high school prospect in 2008 despite growing up in Ontario, instead of out west in British Columbia where the majority of Canadian baseball talent is noticed. He had a strong commitment to Oklahoma State University which caused him to plummet in the draft, with the Milwaukee Brewers eventually picking him in the 23rd round. They were unable to sign him, and Knecht played for Canada at the World Junior Championship that summer with fellow Blue Jays prospects Michael Crouse and Brett Lawrie. Knecht got his wish by playing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but the only problem was that Oklahoma State wasn’t as high on him as he was on the university, as he received just 12 at-bats as a freshman. His two hits were both home runs, and he managed two walks as well as five strikeouts.

Understandably unhappy with his playing time, Knecht transferred to Connors State where he electrified scouts. Knecht has drawn praise for his impressive bat speed and raw righthanded power from his large frame, but he is also an above-average runner, logging a cool 6.55 seconds in the 60-yard dash in college. His .453 average and 21 homers ranked among national junior college leaders, and he also has an above average, accurate arm.

Knecht’s short track record didn’t deter the Blue Jays from selecting him with the 113th overall pick, as they were enticed by his huge power potential and all-around tools. Knecht uses his hips to really bring his bat around, and has a very mature approach at the plate in terms of pitch selection, and he jumps on pitches he can handle.

To get drafted by the Blue Jays, Knecht called it “a dream come true”. Despite having a commitment to North Carolina State, he signed quickly for $250,000, slightly below the recommended slot amount of $267,300, and reported right away to the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League.

Knecht spent the first third of his season with Auburn as their designated hitter, as he was recovering from a separated shoulder injury that he suffered from crashing into an outfield wall in May 2010. It turned out the injury was not as serious as Knecht had initially thought, and he was able to make his professional debut in the outfield this summer once he was fully recovered.

Knecht played only left field in junior college, but this past season with Auburn he played 25 games in right field, 6 in center, and 10 in left. Some scouts have said he lacks the instincts for center field, and should reach the Major League level as a corner outfielder, likely in right.

Aside from R. Howard Webster Award (MVP) winner Carlos Perez, Knecht could be called the Doubledays best player this past season. He ranked in the top 5 on the team in every single offensive category, and showed some of his power in his team-leading 18 doubles and 6 home runs. Knecht also went 7-for-8 in stolen base attempts,  and finished the year with a .268/.345/.437 line in 61 games.

Defensively with Auburn this year, Knecht didn’t commit an error while playing all three outfield positions, and had at least one outfield assist at each position, finishing the year with six in 41 games.

Expected 2011 Team: Lansing Lugnuts (A)

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: MLB right fielder

Knecht competes every time he steps in the batter’s box and this past season he has shown an ability to hit to all fields. He’s still young, and he will get bigger and learn his swing as he matures. He has already made considerable improvements, and should bring his overall good hitting and quick bat speed to Class-A Lansing next season, with a promotion to Hi-A Dunedin possible as well in 2011.

-JM

Like what you read and want to stay informed on all updates here at Jays Journal? Follow Mat and I on Twitter (@JaysJournal and @bigja12) or “Like” our Facebook page

Next Blue Jays Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:10at Tampa Bay RaysBuy Tickets

Tags: Brett Lawrie Marcus Knecht Michael Crouse Toronto Blue Jays

  • Mylegacy

    How sweet it is!

    Joey 2? Really – isn’t this a wonderful system!

    Surely, it must be spring by now – can’t wait to watch these guys grow the next few years – play ball already!

  • FenixL

    A personal favourite of mine from the 2010 draft. With prospects you always dream and look at comparisions, but at the same time trying to be realistic. With that said, i think Knecht fits the Ryan Braun mold. Yes i know he is one of baseball’s best, and is a great player. Im not trying to hype Knecht up, but he is similar physically, has tonne of power potential, and is no slouch on the basepads. I think if he can put it all together its a solid comparison.

  • Daniel

    Knecht seems to fit the mold of a higher risk/ higher reward draft pick that the Jays used to avoid under J.P. Knecht was prospect with a lot of strong tools coming into the draft but scouts were afraid of his lack of overall experience against more talented competition. I’d say his batting line has confirmed his potential, he looks like he has the makings of a potential all-star.

  • Pingback: Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition, Reviewed « Jays Journal | A Toronto Blue Jays Blog