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Max Knutson Scouting Report

Left-Handed Pitcher
6’2” · 205 lbs. · L/L
DOB: April 1, 1995
Baltimore Orioles


Tool (PV/FV)
Notes & Comments
Fastball (30/35)
Some arm-side run and life to his fastball; occasional fade with manipulation down in the zone. Consistent horizontal, one-plane life to arm-side thanks to arm action/mechanics look. Not a ton of velocity, and struggles to dial it up; never even hit 90 in my look, but arguably enough life to squeeze by against LHH without velo. That said, little margin of error; command/control profile must be on point with consistent execution down to corners. Velocity: 86-89.

Changeup (40/50)
Noticeable, unique speed differential; big drop in velo, relatively rare speed differential here considering how many power changeups (6-8 mph lower) there are nowadays; floater at times, will hang up, particularly with elbow drop. Pitch grew on me as he threw it more; figured out more consistent fade with depth to arm-side. Decent look when he executes down in the zone; depth plays up and makes for a tough pitch to square up, especially for RHH. Shot to be a workable pitch. Velocity: 71-74.

Slider (30/35)
Bigger, longer, sweeping horizontal slider; not as much downward break or consistent depth; more of a sweep across the zone without late downward break. Pitch plays significantly better to LHH with sweep away from their bats, but even then, tough to get off one plane and stay off barrel. Will get some guys out on front foot on velo differential, but without late sharp life or depth, the slider must be executed extremely well down in the zone as with rest of repertoire. Velocity: 80-82.

Command (30/35)
Will challenge hitters, particularly LHH, and shows enough feel to be competitive with three pitches out of the bullpen, but struggles to consistently pinpoint strikes to corners, particularly with off-speed stuff. Been a reliever through first two years of his career, and no reason that shouldn’t continue; effectively wild at times with lots of horizontal movement on stuff, points towards situational lefty profile through to ceiling.

Mechanics
Cross-body thrower, release from pretty significantly closed-off landing spot towards the plate. Mild deception through mechanics and release there, particularly to LHH. Three-quarters release point with longer arm swing in the back. Tendency for elbow to drop through release; gives feel like he’s throwing uphill at times, particularly with changeup floating to the plate. Not much downhill plane; lacks consistent depth on repertoire despite 6’2″ frame. Needs perfect command/pitch execution for modest downward life to play.

Notes
Max Knutson enters his third pro year with the Baltimore Orioles in 2018; 12th round MLB Draft selection in 2016 out of the University of Nebraska. Big kid; no question there’s enough durability here for a full-season relief role, but no physical projection ahead; will need to work hard to maintain good weight through career. Just turned 23 on Sunday; not a ton of overall upside left with repertoire, velo, etc.; at/near final form.

OFP (40 FV)
Without exceptional pitch life or velo, likely low/middle reliever at ceiling with repertoire to work in low-leverage situations. Perhaps some potential for left-handed situational work, but for me, it’ll be a stretch to actualize that against better competition. Organizational depth floor well within reach. Big, physical kid with some durability to go multiple innings, and the use of three pitches could reasonably neutralize hitters from both sides in low-leverage role assuming modest command improvements. Unlikely you’ll see him throw against better competition in consistent high-leverage relief situations. MLB ETA: 2021.

Max Knutson Scouting Report, Baltimore Orioles — Game Video

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More from our Max Knutson scouting report and other Baltimore Orioles prospects:

Nick Vespi, LHP | Keegan Akin, LHP | Jacob Brown, OF | Hunter Harvey, RHP

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