East Tennessee State University senior pitcher Landon Knack was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the 60th overall pick in the second round of the 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last Thursday evening. As the 60th pick, the former Science Hill standout became the third-highest pick in ETSU history and is the first Buccaneer to be drafted in the second round.
“It’s an unreal feeling to hear my name called after watching the draft last year. I couldn’t be more excited to work with an organization that does so well with player development,” said Knack. “I want to thank my teammates, Coach Pennucci, Coach Posey, Coach Oeder, Coach Murray and Coach Sweeney for everything they’ve done for me the over the last two years.
Knack put up impressive numbers in the 2020 season with a 4-0 record, a 1.08 ERA and led the nation with 51 strikeouts. The Johnson City native allowed just one walk in the shortened season and was ranked in the top-10 with a 0.52 WHIP and just 0.36 walks per nine innings.
The Buccaneer ace set a new program record with a 2.60 career ERA. In his two years with the Bucs, Knack held a 13-4 record and struck out 145 batters in 122.0 innings of work. He holds two program records, as earlier this season, he set a program record with 16 strikeouts in a game against Wagner on Mar. 7.
“Landon is a hard worker, dedicated and a fantastic teammate,” said Head Coach Joe Pennucci. “The fact that Landon is extremely coachable and is willing to make adjustments will take him a long way in this game. Our entire coaching staff is proud of him and excited for his future.”
Knack became the first player drafted in the Pennucci era and is the first Buccaneer selected in the MLB Draft since Hagen Owenby in 2017. He will become the 49th ETSU Baseball player to enter the big leagues. Knack becomes the fourth member of the Blue and Gold selected in one of the first five rounds in program history.* He is third Buccaneer selected by the Dodgers (Clinton Freeman, 2014 and Barry Dunn, 1992).
“Being selected in the MLB Draft is an incredible accomplishment, but to be selected when there are only five rounds is extraordinary,” said Pennucci. “To be picked with just 160 total players in this year’s draft shows how special Landon really is!”