Minor League Player Spotlight: Brad Knox

Joe Blanton and Jairo Garcia might get most of the hype as the A's top pitching prospects, but Brad Knox is making a case to be part of that group. Adam Miller profiles the young Kane County Cougar starting pitcher.

Player Spotlight: Brad Knox Brad Knox has not received a lot of attention in discussions of the A's top pitching prospects, but he certainly deserves more. Currently residing at low-A Kane County, Knox is part of a promising young stable of pitching at the lower end of the A's minor league system.

Brad Knox, 6'3", 210, RHP

Year

Team

Lg

Age

W/L

ERA

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

H/9

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

K/BB

2002

AZ

ROOK

20

2-3

4.17

41.0

44

28

19

9

42

2

9.66

1.98

9.22

0.44

4.67

2003

VAN

NW

21

6-3

2.06

70.0

55

21

16

18

63

2

7.07

2.31

8.10

0.26

3.50

2004

KCTY

MID

22

10-4

2.08

117.0

101

35

27

16

129

9

7.77

1.23

9.92

0.69

8.06



Knox came from the famous (or infamous, depending on who you talk to) "Moneyball" draft, where he was selected by the Athletics in the 14th round out of Central Arizona College, the same junior college that Rich Harden attended before being drafted by Oakland.

Three straight years, Knox has received increased innings and a higher level of competition, and in three straight years, Knox has risen to the challenge each time. Well, to say that he has only "risen to the challenge" is a bit of an understatement. Knox has simply dominated minor league hitters at every stop along the way. Brad is perhaps the A's best control pitcher in their minor league system.

In 228 minor league innings, Knox has posted a 2.45 ERA with a ridiculous 234/43 K/BB ratio. He doesn't allow many hits, and is extremely stingy with the free pass. Although his homerun rate has seen a slight uptick in 2004, his K/BB ratio has skyrocketed from 3.50 in 2003 to a cartoonish 8.06 in 2004.

Like many young A's pitchers, Knox does not throw in the mid-to-high 90s. He does have a full arsenal of pitches – a high-80s fastball, a changeup, a slider, and a curve – and his exceptional control allows him to throw all of them for strikes in any count. The A's are very high internally on Knox; the front office considers him one of the steals of the 2002 draft. He should receive a promotion to AA Midland in either late 2004 or early 2005, and could find himself with the major league club as early as 2006.

Questions or comments? Email Adam Miller at superflyam@excite.com

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