Holding the 33rd overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers added one of the more talented high school pitchers in this year's class, selecting Patchogue-Medford (NY) HS pitcher Josh Knoth in the Comp A round. Here are some instant takeaways.
- This pick marks the first time the Brewers have selected a high school pitcher on Day 1 of the Draft since 2017 when they took Caden Lemons. Josh Knoth was ranked 98th on MLB Pipeline's big board.
- The Brewers love pitchers with excellent spin rates and pitch data and that's exactly what Josh Knoth has. He has big time stuff the Brewers are betting on their pitching lab to develop.
- Knoth's fastball sits in the mid 90s and reaches the upper 90s. The best pitch for him is his 3,000 RPM curveball. The Brewers love the ability to spin the ball with their pitchers and Knoth has one of the best spinners in this entire class.
- Knoth has a three pitch mix with a changeup currently, but the two plus pitches are the fastball and curveball. The pitching lab will have to develop that changeup that he doesn't use often into a reliable third pitch in order for him to stick as a starter.
- There's an incredible amount of risk in this pick but there's also incredibly high reward potential. High school righties are the most volatile demographic in the Draft. If it all comes together, there's a chance for something special.
- On top of the spin rate and pitch data, the Brewers target athletes on the mound and Knoth is super athletic compared to his peers. He's earned some comparisons to Lance McCullers, which would be an excellent outcome of this pick for the Brewers.
- Knoth is a young arm, just 17 years old. It'll take a pretty hefty signing bonus to get him to forgo his commitment to Ole Miss. The Brewers went with an underslot target at 18 with Brock Wilken, using those savings to afford Knoth.
- While the Brewers have shied away from high school pitchers of late, they dip their toe into these waters to get someone who could be a special talent. The spin rate data and the athleticism are two big traits the Brewers target in their pitching selections and Knoth has those two things in spades.
- This will be a long-term project for the Brewers pitching lab, but one they feel confident will work.
Next up for the Brewers is the 54th overall pick, which is in Round 2.