Corey Knebel
Corey Knebel
26-Year-Old PitcherRP
Milwaukee Brewers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
It was an up-and-down 2018 campaign for Knebel, but he ended it on a high note. He opened the year as the closer, but an early-April injury sidelined him over a month, and he struggled for the next three months before losing the ninth-inning role in August. Things got so bad that month that the Brewers optioned him to Triple-A in late August in an effort to iron things out. The move paid off, as after Knebel was recalled, he allowed just one earned run over 25 appearances before the Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs. While Knebel's ratios dipped last year due to the midseason struggles, he still averaged just a tick under 97 mph on his fastball and posted a similar strikeout rate to his dominant season before, providing plenty of reason for optimism. Jeremy Jeffress thrived last year while closing in Knebel's absence, but given his history, chances are it's Knebel who opens 2019 as the closer in Milwaukee. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $5.13 million contract with the Brewers in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Reaches deal with Brewers
PMilwaukee Brewers
January 11, 2019
Knebel and the Brewers avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $5.125 million deal, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
Knebel had a rocky 2018 campaign which included a trip to the disabled list and a brief demotion to the minors. He still finished the year with a respectable 3.58 ERA and 16 saves in 55.1 innings, backed up by an excellent 39.5 percent strikeout rate. He looked back to his usual self in the playoffs, allowing just a single run in 10 innings. He should resume his role as the Brewers' closer to start the upcoming season.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .166 348 121 43 50 6 2 7
Since 2016vs Right .235 329 131 35 68 12 3 9
2018vs Left .176 115 41 12 18 3 1 4
2018vs Right .213 108 47 10 20 5 2 3
2017vs Left .156 160 61 23 21 3 0 2
2017vs Right .205 149 65 17 27 5 0 4
2016vs Left .172 73 19 8 11 0 1 1
2016vs Right .333 72 19 8 21 2 1 2
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 2.44 1.13 88.2 4 4 32 13.6 4.2 1.0
Since 2016Away 3.58 1.27 75.1 2 7 25 14.1 4.4 0.7
2018Home 3.86 1.09 30.1 2 2 10 14.2 4.2 1.8
2018Away 3.24 1.08 25.0 2 1 6 14.4 2.9 0.4
2017Home 0.86 1.07 42.0 1 1 21 14.1 4.3 0.4
2017Away 2.91 1.26 34.0 0 3 18 15.9 5.3 1.1
2016Home 3.86 1.35 16.1 1 1 1 11.0 3.9 1.1
2016Away 5.51 1.59 16.1 0 3 1 9.9 5.0 0.6
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Stat Review
How does Corey Knebel compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
96.9 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Corey Knebel
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 2017 campaign kicked off with Knebel filling a setup role for the Brewers, but it did not take him long to assume the ninth-inning duties from an ineffective Neftali Feliz. Once he became the closer, Knebel provided a massive boost in saves for fantasy owners, locking up 39 contests from mid-May through season’s end. Knebel let more runners reach base than would have been desired, but he allowed just six home runs and posted an elite 14.9 K/9 over the entire season, so he was frequently able to escape danger. He was one of the most productive relievers in baseball last year, and the numbers mentioned in the previous sentence give him sound job security. There is no question he will open the 2018 season as the Brewers’ closer as long as he is on the Opening Day roster, and his strikeout potential will make him a trendy target for fantasy players.
Knebel was sharp in 2015 but couldn't pick up where he left off, as an oblique injury resulted in his season debut being delayed until June. He had trouble getting started as well, allowing five runs in his first eight appearances, and he never quite managed to settle in. Knebel managed 38 strikeouts in just 32.2 innings, but he finished with a brutal 4.4 BB/9 and often paid for issuing so many free passes. He now owns a mediocre 4.03 ERA in three major league seasons despite a sharp 10.5 K/9. Knebel is just 25 in 2017 and has a high ceiling if he can rein in his control (3.5 career BB/9). But walks often come around to bite the pitchers who concede them, and Knebel is in no way immune. The Brewers seem willing to bet on his stuff winning out over his past results. He will enter spring training as the favorite to be the primary setup man after the Brewers acquired Neftali Feliz to fill their open closer's role.
The Brewers thought they were receiving a prospect pitcher when they got Knebel from the Rangers, but he instead proved to be one of their better bullpen arms in the present. Despite lackluster numbers with Triple-A Colorado Springs, Knebel pitched well with the Brewers, accumulating 58 strikeouts in 50.1 innings to go with a 3.22 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. His 4.09 FIP is a bit troubling, but his mid-90s fastball and good slider should help him maintain his success in the majors. The 23-year-old could see more high-leverage situations if his success continues, and he could even be in line for saves with the trade of Francisco Rodriguez to Detroit in November.
Knebel is an explosive right-handed relief pitching prospect, featuring a mid-90s fastball and a plus curveball. He came to Texas from Detroit in the Joakim Soria trade, but was shut down less than a month later with a sprained UCL. In 54 innings last season between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors, Knebel recorded 74 strikeouts with 17 walks, demonstrating why he profiles as a high-leverage option. He pitched 8.2 innings with the Tigers prior to the trade, but was not featured in the major leagues with Texas, but that should change early in 2015 if he is fully healthy. Traded to Milwaukee in January, Knebel could emerge to take on a prominent late-inning role with the Brewers if his elbow woes are no longer an issue.
The Tigers selected Knebel with the 39th overall pick of the 2013 draft. A closer out of Texas, Knebel was immediately inserted into the same role for Low-A West Michigan after the draft last summer. He dominated the lower level, picking up 15 saves with a 0.87 ERA and 41:10 K:BB ratio in 31 appearances. With good size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds), a strong arm (his fastball tops out at 98 mph) and a wipeout slider, Knebel has the goods to be a closer at the major league level one day. The 22-year-old righty will have to prove himself at the higher levels of the minors to start the 2014 campaign, but he’s considered to be on the fast track to the majors. Once he does arrive to the show, Knebel will have an opportunity to work high-leverage innings late in games, perhaps making his case to replace Joe Nathan upon the conclusion of Nathan's deal with the Tigers after the 2015 campaign.
More Fantasy News
Closes door with Jeffress unavailable
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 25, 2018
Knebel struck out three batters and picked up his 16th save of the season in Monday's victory over the Cardinals.
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Continues to roll
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 13, 2018
Knebel pitched 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in Wednesday's victory over the Cubs. He gave up just one hit and struck out two batters in the game.
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Records four-out save versus Giants
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 10, 2018
Knebel retired all four batters he faced while recording a scoreless four-out save Sunday against the Giants. He struck out two.
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Returns from Triple-A
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 2, 2018
The Brewers recalled Knebel from Triple-A Colorado Springs ahead of Sunday's game against the Nationals.
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Set to return Sunday
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 1, 2018
Knebel will rejoin the Brewers on Sunday, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
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