After Tulsa’s victory, a pair of power righty arms received their well-deserved promotions from Double-A to Triple-A Oklahoma City. According to sources, 2020 2nd round pick Landon Knack and 2021 6th rounder Emmet Sheehan will both be moved up a level.
Let’s talk about ’em.
Landon Knack, a 25-year-old native of Johnson City, Tennessee, has put together the best two month run of his career. During the 6’2, 220 lbs righty’s first two seasons in the organization, he mixed in bouts of dominance between soft tissue injuries, but the former East Tennessee State Buccaneer spent the offseason optimizing his nutrition to help him take the next step forward, and, to put it mildly, the plan has come together.
In 12 starts for Tulsa, spanning 57.1 IP, Knack posted an ERA of 2.20, with 61 strikeouts against just 12 walks, good for a K-BB% of 22%, which ranks 6th in the Texas League.
The level of performance he brought to the table all season was exemplified in what would be his last outing for the Drillers on Saturday: 7.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs (earned), 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts, and tossing 101 pitches to do it.
Knack boasts a fastball that will sit in the 95-96 range, a plus slider and changeup, and a solid 12-6 curve, but all four pitches play up due to some of the best command in the system. He executes a game plan, he misses bats, and he is fully stretched out. Sounds like the kind of guy who should be one step away from the show.
The other recipient of a promotion on Saturday night was Emmet Sheehan. The 6’5 righty put together a month of May for the ages: 24.2 IP, 0.36 ERA, with 10 walks and 41 strikeouts.
Boasting a fastball that sits 95-98, t99, with 70 grade vertical approach angle, I think it is the best heater in the system. The carry the pitch has is unparalleled, and batters consistently whiff underneath it. It is a legit carrying tool.
The amount of carry the 23-year-old, New York, New York native gets helps it to complement his 60 changeup, and a slider that flashes plus. He will also, on occasion, mix in the odd curve. It was more of a go-to weapon during his college years, but it has taken a backseat to his other offerings as a pro.
Like Knack, Sheehan is all the way stretched out, as he has tossed as many as 94 pitches in an outing this season.
What’s in the cards for these two? Assuming they throw their weight around in similar fashion with Oklahoma City and given equal performance, I would bet Knack would be the first to possibly reach the big club. Knack is Rule 5 draft eligible this offseason, whereas Sheehan is eligible following the 2024 season.
As methodical as the Dodgers are, I can only assume that if there’s nothing else to separate them, the Dodgers will proceed in a fashion that is orderly with respect to the upcoming roster crunch. A stacked system is great until you run out of places for everyone and you start losing guys for nothing (Ryan Noda, Jose Hernandez, and Guillermo Zuniga, I’m looking at you).
That said, if you get the bump to Triple-A in early June, you are being given the opportunity to kick the door down. Bust it up, boys.