A former SF Giants bullpen prospect who got his first taste of big league action in 2021 has found a new home for next season. 31-year-old reliever Dusten Knight has inked a minor league pact with the Tampa Bay Rays, according to the team's transaction log.
Former SF Giants bullpen prospect latches on with the Rays
Knight was originally drafted by the Giants in the 28th round of 2013 draft out of the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. The right-handed hurler moved deliberately up the Giants system, reaching as high as Triple-A by 2018.
At times, it seemed like Knight would eventually become a cog in the Giants bullpen but that never came to fruition. His best season in the Giants organization came in 2018 when he registered a 1.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and a 4.00 SO/W ratio in 47.1 frames across three minor league affiliates.
Most of his success that season came in Double-A as he posted a 2.27 ERA in 20 appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. This earned him a late-season promotion to Triple-A where he completed 5.2 scoreless innings across four appearances to finish the season.
However, after six seasons with the Giants, Knight was scooped up by the Minnesota Twins in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft in 2018. His career stalled after this as the Twins released him just months after the Rule 5 draft.
He pitched briefly in the Mexican League and then caught on with an Indy Ball club to finish out the 2019 season. Of course, the minor league season was cancelled in 2020, so Knight, like many minor leaguers, lost a year of development.
The right-handed reliever caught on with the Baltimore Orioles on a minors contract for 2021. Given that the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in baseball over the past couple of seasons, the odds were good that Knight had a chance of pitching on a major league mound.
After posting a 3.05 ERA in 35 appearances with the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, the longtime minor leaguer was promoted to the major league roster. He yielded nine earned runs on 11 hits with 11 strikeouts in seven appearances down the stretch with the Orioles. Baltimore designated Knight for assignment in September and he became a free agent following the season.
The Rays are known for tweaking a player's profile to produce better results, so Knight has landed with a good organization. After a long minor league career, the righty fiinally got a chance to pitch in the majors, and hopefully, he gets another opportunity to do so with the Rays.