Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Phils' best reliever you've never heard of

PBR - Unless you follow the Phillies' farm system you probably haven't heard of him, but reliever Tyler Knigge is quickly becoming an important piece of the organization's future.

A 12th round selection from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho), Knigge opened the season with Class-A Clearwater and pieced together an impressive resume, highlighted by a 0.60 ERA through 44 2/3 innings. His strikeout to walk ratio (4.09) and nine saves earned him a spot in last month's Florida State League All-Star game.

The 23-year-old was promoted to Double A Reading on Thursday and already has notched a save.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and 215-pounds, the right-hander projects as a future setup man or closer. He has a lively fastball that sits in the mid-90's. He also throws a knuckle curve, sinker and a changeup. 

"He has a bright future, for sure," an American League scout said in a phone conversation yesterday. "Give him a little more time and he'll be on everyone's radar."

In a system hurting for talent, Knigge may make an impact in Philadelphia sooner rather than later.

"The jump to the next level will really tell us a lot," the scout said.  

- Patrick Gordon  is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.

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