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
- 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
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)
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:
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.