It's been more than four years since the Indians traded reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies in exchange for a package of four prospects headlined by right-hander Jason Knapp. Since that time, Knapp has undergone a pair of shoulder surgeries and been released by the Indians, but ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the former top prospect will be attempting a comeback at age 23 (All Twitter links).
Knapp hasn't pitched professionally since 2010, but Crasnick reports that his fastball is back up into the 90s. As Crasnick notes, if Knapp truly is healthy, he figures to draw interest from plenty of teams. Knapp is the type of player teams will dream on -- a low-cost, low-risk pickup of a player that was once one of the game's best pitching prospects. From 2008-10, Knapp posted a 3.63 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 across two minor league levels with the Phillies and Indians.
The Phillies drafted Knapp -- who was last listed at 6'5", 235 pounds -- out of high school in the second round of the 2007 draft. Following the 2008 season, Baseball America ranked Knapp 64th among all prospects and called him the best player the Indians received in the Lee haul. BA then praised Knapp for a fastball that could touch 98 mph, a sometimes-plus 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup that had the makings of at least an average third pitch. At the time, BA wrote that if he could remain healthy, Knapp could develop into a front-line starting pitcher.