Dodgers: Landon Knack used motivation of being overlooked to improve velocity

Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 Draft (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 Draft (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Dodgers second round pick Landon Knack improved his velocity this past year.

When the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Landon Knack in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft, the right-hander knew he was headed to Los Angeles but kept it a secret from most of his family.

"“I told my girlfriend because she was up,” Knack told the Times News. “I called her immediately to tell her, but I tried to keep it a secret from everybody else. I think people started to know that I knew a little bit, but they just didn’t know who. It was kind of tough, to be honest, to keep it from them.”"

After experiencing the disappointment of not being selected last year through a traditional 40 round draft, he used it as motivation to improve his velocity this past season. After throwing in the low-to-mid nineties, he was able to reach 98 MPH this spring.

"“I realized after last year that 90 to 92 wasn’t going to get it done,” Knack said. “And that if I wanted to get where I want to get to, I really needed to have a little bit of an uptick. The velocity was just me kind of using that little motivation of not getting drafted last year and kind of getting a little pissed off, just trying to throw as hard as I could.”"

If getting “a little pissed off” can jump his fastball several MPH, I would love to see what happens when Knack really gets angry.

His improved velocity helped him strikeout 51 batters while walking only one, a strikeout-to-walk ratio that led the nation. Pitching for Eastern Tennessee State, he made four starts and won all of them, allowing only three earned runs in 25 innings of work, pushing his ERA down to a minuscule 1.08.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were high on Landon Knack in the 2020 MLB Draft.

The Dodgers reportedly considered Knack with their first round selection at 29th overall, but were surely happy to see him fall into their lap with the 60th pick. President Andrew Friedman has a bonus pool amount of $5.9 million to spend on draftees this year. The team was able to sign fifth-round pick Gavin Stone well under slot at $100,000. The savings will help them secure the remainder of their picks, such as Knack, who is slotted at $1.2 million.

dark. Next. What will the rotation look like in three years?

While limited to only $20,000 to entice undrafted free agents to join the Dodgers organization, the scouting and recruiting staff, as I suppose they should be named in the current environment, was able to attract Stetson University pitcher Robbie Peto. Los Angeles is once again placing an emphasis on college arms.