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Phillies Second Round Pick Andrew Knapp

Every year the Phillies seem to draft a College Catcher. This year it's Second Rounder Andrew Knapp a University of California Junior.

Another Catcher?
Another Catcher?

So who is Andrew Knapp (no relation to former Pitching prospect Jason Knapp, by the way)? Knapp's a 6'1" 190 lb Catcher from Cal. He's the son of former Minor League Catcher Mike Knapp. So Catching baseballs while squating behind a big piece of white rubber is kind of the family business. Knapp grew up around baseball. He knows the work that goes into it and one of his better traits is known to be his work ethic. He's also a smart kid who knows the game well.

Defensively Knapp can best be described as a work in progress. He struggles with good velocity (at Cal, wait until he has to Catch Yoel Mecias, Mitch Gueller and more advanced pro pitchers with velocity to spare and late movement) and breaking balls. It's possible he may not be able to stick behind the dish and it's possible the Phillies have no intention of even trying to play him there. Knapp Spent his first two years at Cal touring the Baseball field a bit. Playing Catcher, Right Field, First Base, DH and never really settling in anywhere until finally sticking at Catcher this Spring. He's not fast, per se, but he probably has enough athleticism and enough arm strength that Right Field isn't out of the question. Of course a move to the Corner of the diamond increases pressure on the bat. So let's look at that.

Knapp is a Switch Hitter. I'm not sure he'll stay a Switch Hitter, but more on that further down the page here. From the Left side his swing is quiet and effective. He should be able to generate a decent enough average and adequate power. His Left handed swing is tight and fairly flat through the zone, while his Right handed swing gets a lot more loopy. I expect he'd have more power from his Left side, but a better average with a higher contact rate from the Left. He has decent plate discipline, but does chase outside the zone, especially low. Two things the Phillies may look to fix are the big loop in the Right Handed Swing and the rollover on his front foot. Sometimes cheats out on his front foot and opens up too early.

Knapp is someone I expectedd the Phillies to go for in the Third Round. I think this may be what happened: The Phillies were hoping for one of Austin Wilson or Justin Williams to fall to them and it damn near happened with Wilson and Williams going in the 4 picks prior. When they were gone, the Phillies shifted gears and went for a guy they can sign well underslot, in the hopes a kid who is a signability risk falls to them with the next pick(s). John Sickels over at Minor League Ball put together a post of the players with signability issues (link here). Look for one of these names to come up for the Phillies today. Many of them are already taken, but there are some great players with Round 1/2 talent hanging around still.

Overall Knapp is not a very sexy pick. In my Top 30, he'd probably be in the same area as Cameron Rupp in the mid to low teens. He's a great at nothing, good enough at everything guy. He might be a future Ryan Doumit type backing up the Catcher while playing a few other spots on the field and providing solid, if unspectaculr offense and defense. Below is plenty of video of Knapp for you to play hooky with.