FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas baseball fans have plenty of reasons to be excited for the 2018 season. Coming off a 45-win campaign that included an SEC Tournament championship appearance, as well as hosting an NCAA Regional, many of those pieces that helped the unforgettable run are returning. Two of those players are battery mates Grant Koch and Blaine Knight.
As Major League Baseball seasons come to a close, eyes are already on the next set of prospects that will fill up the board at the 2018 MLB Draft. D1Baseball.com and Baseball America have both been releasing numerous top prospects lists with Knight and Koch among them.
D1Baseball.com Top 100 MLB Prospects – FULL RANKING
No. 59 Grant Koch
No. 61 Blaine Knight
Baseball America Top 50 College Prospects – FULL RANKING
No. 19 Blaine Knight
Knight, who was a 29th round MLB Draft pick last summer by the Texas Rangers, decided to forgo an early pro career to play his junior year. Knight is coming off an eight-win season a year ago where he accumulated 96 strikeouts in 90.2 innings. Over his two years in a Razorback uniform, the Bryant, Arkansas native has a career 3.17 ERA with 142 strikeouts, the fourth-highest strikeout total of any returning pitching in the SEC.
Koch hit .264 with a career-high 13 home runs and 42 RBIs as a sophomore before donning the red, white, and blue for Team USA this summer. Koch continued his strong play for his home country hitting a team-leading .372 over 20 games with two home runs and nine RBIs. In just two years with the Razorbacks, Koch has 15 home runs and a combined .267 average with 56 RBIs.
What They’re Saying
“(Grant Koch) looks like the best combination of offensive upside and potential behind the dish in this crop.” – Frankie Piliere (D1Baseball)
“Koch helped his stock this summer, and he should be a top-five-rounds pick with another good spring.” – Aaron Fitt (D1Baseball.com)
“(Blaine Knight) will return one year smarter and more experienced, and still armed with a 90-94 mph fastball and nasty breaking ball.” – Frankie Piliere (D1Baseball)
Arkansas has a few weeks left in fall practice for 2017 with it culminating in the annual intrasquad Fall World Series. Dates for the series will be announced at a later date.
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