The Padres announced they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Reiss Knehr. He’ll get the start tonight against the Rockies in his major league debut.
Knehr wasn’t a high-profile amateur, falling to the 20th round in the 2018 draft coming out of Fordham University. He has significantly upped his stock during his brief time in pro ball, though, now projecting as one of the more promising pitching prospects in the San Diego organization. Entering the season, each of Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs, Keith Law of the Athletic and Baseball America slotted Knehr among the top twenty prospects in a still-strong farm system. Those evaluators credit him with a low-mid 90s fastball and promising changeup and slider. There’s still some question whether Knehr’s command is sharp enough to allow him to function as a starting pitcher long-term, but all three outlets suggest he should be a valuable part of a pitching staff in some capacity.
The 24-year-old has spent the entire season with the Padres’ Double-A affiliate in San Antonio. He’s tossed 55 1/3 innings over eleven starts, working to a 3.90 ERA. Knehr’s 20.4% strikeout rate is down from the lofty 27.9% mark he managed in High-A in 2019, while his 9.8% walk percentage is right around average. Knehr has generally induced ground balls at a solid clip in the minors and has surrendered just four home runs this year.
@mlbhawk was first with the news of Knehr’s promotion.