Alfaro has surpassed Knapp as the top catching prospect in the Phillies system, and at this point is clearly the club’s catcher of the future.
Giving him a grade based solely on his work in Philly would result in an “Incomplete”, considering that he has just 17 plate appearances across a half-dozen September games, and has only appeared behind the plate four times. He has a pair of hits and a walk in those appearances.
However, he may have been the top Phillies position player prospect this season, at least as far as among those widely considered to have genuine big league impact potential.
Alfaro hit for a .285/.325/.458 slash line at AA Reading before his promotion, with 15 homers, 67 RBI, 68 runs scored, and 21 doubles. He skipped the AAA level altogether.
There is a very real chance that he returns to the minors at the start of the 2017 season, getting regular games behind the dish with AAA Lehigh Valley while Rupp continues catching here in Philly.
However, Alfaro already has a big league arm, has an advanced offensive game, and is going to take the starting position with the Phillies at some point. Now it’s just a question of when that happens.
Rupp has no margin for error, and Alfaro should be back up at some point next summer, at the latest.