Mississippi State baseball has hit the transfer portal hard this offseason, and Mercer outfielder Bill Knight has become one of the newest members of the Diamond Dawgs.
The All-SoCon First Team selection committed to the Bulldogs on Friday after spending the last four seasons with the Bears. Knight is the third transfer from Mercer that MSU has picked up over the last few years: Nathaniel Lowe was a First-Team All-SEC selection in 2016 before heading to the MLB, and RJ Yeager was one of the program's shining stars this past season.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound slugger has made significant contributions to the program both offensively and defensively. Here are three big things to know about Knight as he transitions to the Maroon and White.
1. Knight has started in nearly every collegiate game he has played.
After joining the Bears in 2019, the Georgia native was almost always given the opportunity to be a starter for his team. Knight started 42 of the 58 games he played in as a freshman and never missed a beat from there. He had the chance to start in 16 games in the shortened 2020 season, 57 games in 2021 and 58 games in 2022.
That stat isn't just impressive, it shows that Knight has plenty of experience against different opponents that will help him transition into the SEC.
2. Knight has shown consistent improvement at the plate each year.
Most college baseball players seem to have a tough year embedded between two outstanding seasons, but that has not been the case for Knight. He finished his freshman season at Mercer with a .232 batting average, then bumped it up drastically to .304 in 2020 and .325 in 2021. Knight finished the 2022 campaign with a team-high .337 batting average.
Aside from that solid average, his slugging percentage and on-base percentage have each improved steadily through the years -- a trend that could certainly continue.
3. Knight's offensive success goes beyond base hits and runs scored.
Knight tallied nearly as many free bases as he did strikeouts this past season. He was walked 28 times on the year -- one of which was an intentional walk -- and got hit by a pitch eight times. That's 36 times that Knight was given a free base compared to the 40 times he struck out in 2022.
On top of that, he recorded 10 steals on 11 stolen base attempts. The best offensive players can do more than just hit, and Knight appears to be one of the most well-rounded transfers that Mississippi State has picked up this season.