FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Junior right-handed pitcher Blaine Knight was the first Razorback taken in the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon when he was selected in the third round, No. 87 overall, by the Baltimore Orioles.
Knight is the 14th Razorback to be taken in the draft’s first three rounds since 2010 and the fifth pitcher since 2013. Pitcher Trevor Stephan went in the third round to the New York Yankees last year as the 92nd overall pick.
With Knight’s selection, Arkansas has had at least one player picked in each of the past 44 MLB Drafts dating back to 1975.
Knight was selected in last year’s draft as a sophomore by the Texas Rangers (29th, No. 884), but elected to come back to Fayetteville for his third year and has had a career year as the Hogs’ ace.
The Bryant, Arkansas native has racked up a perfect 11-0 record this year, helping the Hogs into the NCAA Super Regionals for the seventh time in school history. He recently was named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America and to the All-SEC Second Team prior to the SEC Tournament. He is the 42nd All-American in Arkansas history.
The 11-0 record is good for the most wins in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and he’s the only pitcher in Division I with an 11-0 record this year. His 11 wins also tie for the third most in a season in school history.
The junior has struck out 88 batters in his 16 appearances this season and walked only 22 for a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Over his career, Knight has struck out 230 batters, good for fifth-most in program history.
Throughout his career, Knight has made 51 appearances on the mound since 2016 for the Razorbacks, 39 being starts. He has an even 3.00 ERA in 234.1 innings and has held opponents to a .247 batting average.
Day two of the draft continues today on MLB.com. Rounds 3-10 will be conducted today. Wednesday will be the final day of the draft and will include rounds 11-40 starting at 11 a.m. All selections can be followed on MLB.com.