I Was a Teenage Prospector: Brent Knackert

Knackert Donruss

1990 Donruss The Rookies

I’m covering Marquis Grissom’s 1990 Rookies issue on my other site this morning, and it seemed fitting to look at one of the more obscure prospects from that set on this site today. Knackert was not the best prospect, but what he represents is a branching out. He had an okay if not stellar minor league reputation with the White Sox before getting picked up by the Mets as a Rule V draftee. I guess he failed to make the squad and the Mariners picked him up off waivers, deciding to give him a shot at staying on the roster that year, and what an abysmal year it was. I mean, the guy was 21, but he had a 61 ERA+. My branching-out prospecting brain, however, seized on his age rather than his ability and thought he had staying power. Yeah, he didn’t. He made it to the majors again in 1996, then he was done. I still had a lot to learn.

But what really brings me back on this card is that Mariners cap. I loved that logo, for some reason. I guess it was the yellow on blue…it had such a classic 80s feel, yet I didn’t know what that even meant at the time. All I knew was that I had to have one, being a big uniform and cap sucker. I wore that thing with pride for a few years until it was too worn out to carry on, along with my two Blue Jays hats with that classic, awesome logo that made me a Jays fan for so many years.  You know the one.

I felt like I was an oddity for years, until I discovered entire sites dedicated to the subject. And yet no sites dedicated to Mr. Knackert. But hey, he does have a facebook page, with a picture from his Red Sox year.


Filed under I Was a Teenage Prospector, Seattle Mariners

4 responses to “I Was a Teenage Prospector: Brent Knackert

  1. Brent Knackert

    I just happened to notice this site, then I left & had to come back.lol
    One thing to factor in, I was actually 20 most of the season.Another since I was 20 guess when I pitched most ( blowouts)..= A’s ( a lot ), Blue Jays…. The came the end of July, we were out of it. So they told me I was going to Venezuela to pitch in the winter. So I went 30+ days without pitching in a game ( it was a joke with Matt Young in the clubhouse, he kept writing on a chalk board how many days it was) Then I start to pitch a bit once the 40man roster expanded & the triple A guys started to give up 7 + runs in the first few innings ( Rich Deluca, Burba…)I gave up 14 more runs in the last 9 innings I pitched thanks to walks.
    Went to Venezuela and was pitcher of the year down there 0.94ish ERA as a starter (something like that, I can’t remember what the plaque said.Burba was my roomate) Had Karros at first Omar at short…good team. That’s when I hurt my elbow, I went from a cut fastball ( getting groundouts) to a true slider getting K’s. Strained it really bad, came back to Spring, struck out 6 in my 1st outing & elbow hurt the next day.Came back throwing mid- 90’s no problem, then it turned out I was protecting my elbow & changed my arm angle = shoulder blowout.
    So after defending myself, I just wanted to tell you it was actually a good guess on your part and you really didn’t have “a lot to learn”. I was told after my 1st appearance that spring that I was the #4 starter for sure in 1991 “No worries”. Then 2 days later during my sidework is when the elbow blewout again.
    P.S. The facebook pics are my daughters, they wanted their friends to see me holding them in Angel stadium & their dad hanging out in right field.They don’t care for the fact that I have tobacco in my lip in the photo though. 🙂

  2. Brent Knackert

    Oh, I also did’nt know the rule of thumb at the time. You’re not supossed to show your hair under the front of your cap…Learned that later that year thanks to Eric Hanson ( as my room mate, he taught me a lot that year )

  3. Fascinating reply. Thanks! Now that you say that, a lot of it seems familiar from back then and why I was so bullish on you as a rookie 🙂 I also see that you seemed to have gotten a heavy, heavy jump in workload between 87 and 88. 142 innings for an 18-year old just seems insane. Did you notice any strain that offseason?

  4. Brent Knackert

    Not at all. I really didn’t throw very hard back then. 87-88mph as a starter. In 1989 when I hurt my back & was out for a week, the White Sox had me come back as a closer. That’s when I started to hit low mid 90’s. I kind of paced myself as a starter, and just let it go as a closer.

    P.S. All my friends are giving me a hard time right now. I guess Kevin Kennedy mentioned my name yesterday on XM radio MLB. Wasn’t really flattering though lol. Talking about Clemens,roids,& HOF. He talked about how Clemens never wanted to come out of a game.He then brought up a story from 1996. I guess one time he went out to the mound when Clemens was struggling & asked him how he felt. Clemens told him he was about 70%. Then Clemens asked who do you have warming up? Kevin said he had Knackert & Lacey warming up. To this Clemens said screw it I’ll stay in, I’m better than those two at 70%. LOL..I didn’t use quotes because this is 2nd hand, & I didn’t actually hear it.
    They (friends) want me to call in and say something, but I just told them “You know what, Roger Clemens in 1996 at 70% was better than 90% of the pitchers in baseball so whatever”.

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