You would think that with Tommy Joseph (Triple-A), Sebastian Valle (Double-A) and Cameron Rupp (A), that the last thing the Philadelphia Phillies would need is another catcher. However, with their second-round pick at No. 53 overall, this is exactly the direction the team went in as they selected Andrew Knapp, a junior out of California.
While high school prep catching was one of the strengths in this year’s draft, top-tier college catchers were few and far between. As a result, Knapp rose to the top of most team’s boards when looking for this type of player. He was the first college catcher and only the third catcher overall taken in the draft.
Knapp was a solid player throughout his career at California, but he was really nothing spectacular. In fact, MLB.com had him ranked 65th overall, 12 picks ahead of where the Phillies picked him.
But that doesn’t mean that Knapp wasn’t a good pick, which I think he was.
Knapp, a switch hitting catching prospect, had to wait a few years until he was able to start at Cal. When he did get in the lineup however, he began to show the ability to hit. Although his defense is very much a work in progress, the hope is that he can mature into a good enough power and contact hitter to make himself a solid offensive backstop.
The Phillies, who don’t have another pick until late in the third round, could have reasonably expected that Knapp would be off the board by the time they pick again. That makes sense because as a second round pick, few moves would have been better than the switch-hitting catcher with a reasonably high ceiling for success.