With the votes for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game tallied, Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel has been tabbed to represent Milwaukee in baseball’s mid-season showcase. The All-Star honor is the first for the 25 year-old hurler, who is in his fourth season in the big leagues.
In his first year as a closer at the MLB level, Knebel has been nothing short of dominant in 2017. As of this writing, Knebel has 13 saves, a 1.13 ERA and 68 strikeouts in just 39.2 innings. Additionally, Knebel broke an MLB record that had been standing for 40 years on July 2 when he registered his 40th straight relief performance with a strikeout.
The breakout performance in his statistics is no fluke either, as well. Knebel has averaged 96.91 mph on his fastball, which is drastically higher than his career average of 93.05 mph. As if that wasn’t hard enough for opposing hitters, the spin rate on that fastball has increased to 2353 rpm, over 100 more revolutions per minute than his career average of 2224 rpm.
At his relatively young age, expect Knebel to be a frequent All-Star in coming years. A key cog for the Brewers’ revitalized pitching staff, Knebel’s performance down the stretch of this season is crucial for the surprising team’s playoff hopes.
Catch Knebel in action in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 11 on FOX at 7:30 Eastern.