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Corey Knebel
Name: Corey Andrew Knebel
Born: Nov 26, 1991 in Georgetown, TX
High School: Texas
College: Texas
Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 220 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Drafted in the supplemental 1st round (39th overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2013 (signed for $1,433,400)
Like Huston Street before him, Knebel went from an unheralded Texas high schooler to an instant star with the Longhorns. He ranked second in NCAA Division I with 19 saves as a freshman in 2011 and has been one of college baseball's top closers for three years. Compared to Street, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Knebel is more physical and has more power to his pitches. His fastball ranges from 91-98 mph, and when he stays on top of it, he has a hard curveball with depth that can reach the low 80s. He has deception in his delivery that makes it tough to pick up his pitches but doesn't prevent him from throwing strikes. Knebel has the frame and enough feel for a changeup for a pro team to consider using him in the rotation, a role he filled for three starts at the end of 2012. With his two power pitches and his competitive makeup, but he has big league closer upside and could reach that ceiling quickly. Knebel has been suspended twice this spring in the midst of a disappointing season for Texas, once for a confrontation with a coach and once for reportedly substituting his urine for a teammate's drug test. Neither incident is expected to affect his draft status.
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